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THIS volume goes forth to our patrons the result of months of arduous, 
unremitting and conscientious labor. None so well know as those who 
have been associated with us the almost insurmountable difficulties to be met 
with in the preparation of a work of this character. Since the inauguration 
of the enterprise, nearly one year ago, a large force have been employed — both 
local and others — in gathering material. During this time, upward of three 
thousand persons have been called upon in the two counties, to contribute from 
their recollections, carefully preserved letters, scraps of manuscript, printed 
fragments, memoranda, etc. Public records and semi-official documents have 
been searched, the newspaper files of the counties have been overhauled, and 
former citizens, now living out of the counties, have been corresponded with, 
all for the purpose of making the record as complete as could be, and for the 
verification of the information by a conference with many. In gathering from 
these numerous sources, both for the historical and biographical departments, 
the conflicting statements, the discrepancies and the fallible and incomplete 
nature of public documents were almost appalling to our historians and biog- 
raphers, who were expected to weave therefrom with any degree of accuracy, in 
panoramic review, a record of events. Members of the same families disagree 
as to the spelling of the family name, contradict each other's statements as to 
dates of births, of settlement in the county, nativity and other matters of fact. 
In this entangled condition, we have given preference to the preponderance of 
authority, and while we acknowledge the existence of errors and our inability 
to furnish a perfect history, we claim to have come up to the standard of our 
promises, and given as complete and accurate a work as the nature of the sur- 
roundings would permit. Whatever may be the verdict of those who do not 
and will not comprehend the difficulties to be met with, we feel assured that all 
just and thoughtful people will appreciate our eiforts, and recognize the impor- 
tance of the undertaking and the great public benefit that has been accomplished 
in preserving the valuable historical matter of the county and biographies 
of many of its citizens, that perhaps would otherwise have passed into oblivion. 
To those who have given us their support and encouragement, and they are 
many, we acknowledge our gratitude, and can assure them that as years go by 
the book will grow in value as a repository not only of pleasing reading matter, 
but of treasured information of the past, that becomes a monument more en- 
during than marble. 





Agricultural Society 20 

Census Returns 24 

Fauna 17 

Geological Formation 14, 25 

Indiana, Early 17 

Lakes 13 

Mastodon Rpniains 15 

Mound-Biiilders 28 

Physical Features 11 

Resources 16 

Rivers and Creeks 12 

Statistics 21 

White Men, The First 11 


Annual Expenditures 57 

C. ngressional Representation 57 

County CommissionHrs, First 32 

County Officers, The First 55 

Courts, The First 33 

Elections, Presidential 54 

Lawyers, Early 46 

Murder Trial, The First 36 

Organization of County 32 

Physicians, Early 47 

Public Buildings 37 

Senators and Roiiresentatives 56 

Valuation and Taxation 58 


Churches, Early 66 

Fourierisni 68 

Insurance, Home 80 

Newspaper History 76 

Post Offices 65 

Preaching, The First 66 

Railroads 64 

Regulators and Rangers 81 

Roads and Routes 62 

Schools and Education 73 

School Statistics 74 

Secret Societies 79 


Call for Troops. First x4 

Companies and Campaigns 101 

Draft, The 95 

Roll of Honor 103 

Soldiers, Early 83, 110 

Soldiers of the Late War 84 

TowuMhi}) Histories. 


Town of La Grange Ill 

Buildings, Progress of. 113 

Business Enterprises 115, 119 

Ceme eries 125 

Churches and Pastors 122 

Educational 120 

Original Gnint of Site 112 

Physicians, The First 114 

Plat of Town Ill 

Secret Societies 116 


Bloomfield Township 126 ; 

Boundaries and Features 126 

Bloomfield Village 133 

Burlington Village 132 i 

Civil Officers, First 132 ! 

Church History 133 ' 

Hill's Corners 133 

Industries, Early 131 

Inhabitants, The First 129 

Marriag^ First 132 : 

School Interests 133 


Lima Township 135 ' 

Churches aud Pastors 152 

Hotels, Postmnsters, Phy8iciansl42 

Industries 142 

Indians 137 

La Grange Bank 145 1 

La Grange Collegiate Institute. 150 

Land Entries 139 \ 

Merchants of Lima 140 ] 

Ontario Village 145 ! 

Pioneers 135 ' 

• 148 ; 


j Johnson Township 155 

Churches and Pastors 170 

Creation of Township 156 

Early Settlers 155 ! 

Schools and Teachers 167 

Traders, Early 156 ' 

Valentine Village 161 

Wolcottville 162 

Wright's Corners 161 


Van Buren Township 172 

Addie Dwight Tragedy 180 

Burial Grounds 177 

Business of Village 183 

Churches 179 

E«rlv Settlers 174 

Roads 174 

Schools and Teachers 179 

Surface Features 172 \ 

Van Buren Village 183 j 


Eden TowxtHir 185 

Birth, First 101 i 

Civil Officers 189 

Church Organizations 192 

Haw Patch Center 195 , 

Organization of Township 188 

Physical Features 185 

Physicians, Early 191 I 

Presidential Election 191 [ 

Regulators, The 191 i 

School Organizations 193 | 

Sycamore Literary Society 194 

Settlers, First 185 

Trades and Industries 194 


Springfield Township 196 

Church Organizations 208 

First Settler 196 

Gage and Langdon War 197 

Harrison Campaign 202 

Industries, Early 201 

Mongoquinong 196,203 

Organization of Township 203 

Schoolhouses 207 

Springfield Village 204 

Settlers, Early 198 

Trade, Eariy 196 

Union Hall 209 


Cleaerpring Township 210 

Civil Officers 214 

Churches 219 

Mills, Eariy 212 

Organization of Township 214 

Patrons of Husbandry 217 

Removal of Indims 213 

Roads 218 

Schools 218 

Settlers, First 210 


Greenfield Township 220 

Birth, First 229 

Churches 231 

Industries, First 225 

Lexington Village 226 

Origin of Name 225 

Schools 229 

Settlers, First 222 

Vistula Village 226 


Newbuet Township 233 

Amish .-^Pttlement 240 

Civil Officers 239 

Churches 241 

Justices of the Peace 239 

Lakes and Rivers 233 

Mill, The First 234 

Organization of Township 2.33 

Pashan Post Office 241 

Schotlhonses 2;^6 

Settlers, The Early 234 

Trading 236 


Milfoed Township 242 

Churches and Pastors 254 

Hunting Experiences 246 

Mills, The Early 2-'.^ 

Mud Cornei-8 Viil»ge 262 

Organization cf Township 245 

Pioneers, The 242 

Regulators, The 248 

Schools 253 

South Milford Village 252 

Ucderground Railroad 248 



CtAT Township 255 

Appalling Accident 264 

Birth, The First 256 

Churches 264 

Destructive Fire 263 

Early Schools 259, 260, 265 

Justices of the Peace 266 

Mill, The First 255 

Murder 264 

Schoolhouses 265 

Sickly Season 259 

Settlers, The First. 256, 259 

Trade and Industry 263 

Bio^raptiical Sketches. 

Bloomfield Township 293 

Clay Township 425 

Clearspring Township. 379 


Eden Township 355 

Greenfield Township 388 

Johnson Township 326 

La Grange, Town of. 267 

Lima Township 310 

Milford Township 408 

Newbury Township 400 

Springfield Township 362 

Van Buren Township 343 

Por trai ts. 

Blackmun, A 59 

Bradford, Samuel P 29 

Calahan, Ami 175 

Case, Zopher 165 

Cochran, Charles 249 

Craue, S. D 137 

Dancer, Dr. John 107 

Davis, Hezekiah 233 


Davis, Mrs. Hezekiah 237 

Goodsell, Mynott 243 

Holsinger, John 127 

Hooley, Chris 215 

Hopkins, Fleming 227 

Kent,Orvin .199 

Kent, Mrs. Orvin 205 

Mills, Jacob 159 

Niman, Dr. J. P 117 

Peck, Burton 221 

Berick, Dr. J. H 69 

Shepardson, Samuel .39 

Sidener, Nicholas 181. 

Strickland, Matthew 257 

TaylOT, 0. B 87 

Wildman, L. L 97 


Court House, La Grange County.... 19 
Jail, La Grange County 49 



Geology 5 

Indian History 19 

Indian Mounds 11 

Lakes and Ponds 9 

Meteorology 10 

Topography 9 


A Child's Mysterious Disappearance 38 

Birth, The First 54 

Churches, The Early ."54 

County Buildings 42 

County Census 39 

County Oflicer' 44 

County Organization 27 

County Seats 41 

Judiciary, The 47 

Judicial E.xecution 34 

Land Entries, The Early 28 

Marriage, The First 54 

Members of the Bar 48 

Physicians, The First 53 

Poor, The County 43 

PostOfiSce, The First 57 

Settlement, The First 27 

State Canal 32 

Suffering in 1838 Si 

Thieves and Counterfeiters 33 

Valuation and Taxes 40 

Agricultural and Historical Society 62 

Early Roads and Routes 57 

Execution of McDougal 72 

Journals and Journalists 74 

Newspaper, The First 74 

Outlaws and Criminals 63 

Railroads 60 

Regulators, The 69 


Career of Regiments 107 

Death of Lincoln 106 

Draft Statistics 99 

Fall of Sumter 89 

Republican Convention of 1864 104 

Roll of Honor 110 

Soldiers of Early Wars..-. 87 

War Meetings and Speeches 89 

War Statistics 115 

Townsliiip Histories. 


City of Kenballville 116 

Banks 123 

Business Development 120 

Church Organizations 130 


Conflagrations 123 

Election, The First 122 

Incorporation 122 

Origin of Name 120 

Railroad Subscription 124 

Schoolhouses 129 

Settlement, The First 119 


Wayne Township IH 

Birth, The First 139 

Churches 142 

Log Rolling and Whisky 139 

Mills, The Early 140 

Scarcity of Cash 141 

Scbooldouses 141 

Settlers, The First 135 


Town of Ligonier 145 

Building and Loan Association. .148 

Church Organizations 153 

Destructive Fire 148 

Early Development 146 

High School 150 

Interesting Statistics 1.57 

Revivals 156 

School Buildings 148 

Sons of Temperance 147 

Town Plat... 145 


Perry Township 161 

Bourie's Reminiscences 164 

First Election 162 

Rochester Village 163 

Roll of Settlers 161 

Saw-Mills, The First 163 

Schools and (.hurches 167 


Town of Albion 168 

Business Men, The Early 170 

Church Societies 180 

Early Laud Entries 168 

Incorporation 176 

Plat of the Town 169 

Schools 177 

Secret Orders 175 

Table of Fires 182 

Town Funding Bonds 179 


Jefferson Township 183 

Agricultural Features 192 

Burial Grounds 193 

Death, The First 193 

Indian Mounds 191 


Mills and Milling 186 

Pioneer Life 184 

Population 191 

Schools and Teachers 187 

Sermons and Churches 187 

Township Organization 186 

Township Pioneers 183 


Orange Township 194 

Brimfield Village 203 

Church Organizitions k04 

Island Park Assembly 206 

Land Owners, The Early 194 

Mills, The Early 196 

Northport Village 197 

Rome City 198 

Water Power at Rome 202 


Allen Township ' i08 

Avilla's First House 214 

Churches, The Early 217 

Deaths, The Early 211 

Election, The First 211 

Franciscan Convent 218 

Hunting Reminiscences 214 

Incorporation of Avilla 216 

Industries and Improvements..212 

Marriage, The First 211 

Roll of Early Settlers 208 

Schoolhouse, The First 268 

Underground Railroad 216 

White Settler, The First 208 


Elkhart Township 221 

Early Settlers, List of. 223 

Pittsburg Village 225 

Religious Development 228 

Schools and Teachers 227 

Settlers, the First 221 

Springfield Village 225 

Wawaka Village 226 


Sparta Township 231 

Church Organizations 241 

Cromwell Village 236 

Election, First 233 

Mills and Kilns 234 

Pioneer Experiences 232 

Roll of Settlers 231 

Schools and Teachers 237 

Sparta Village 235 




Noble Township 242 

Church Societies 253 

Indiana 245 

Milling Enterprises 245 

Nobleville City 251 

Koll of Pioneers 243 

Schools and Teachers 252 

White Settler, First 242 

Wolf Lake Village 247 


YoEK Township 254 

Augusta Village 258 

Catalogue of Settlers 255 

Election, First 266 

Lite in the Wilderness 256 

Mills, First 255 

Pioneers, The 254 

Port Mitchell Village 262 

Schools and Teachers 263 

Van Buren Village 258 


Gbeen Township 266 

" Canalers," The 271 

Fatal Casualty 271 

Hunting Experiences 267 

Mills and Trade 272 

Religious Societies 276 

Schools and Tutors 273 

Settlers, First 266 


Swan Township 277 

Early Settlement 277 

First Election 281 

First Preaching 285 

Hunting Exploits 278 

La Otto Village 284 


Marriage, First 282 

Schools and Teachers 286 

Swan Village 283 

Trade and TraflBc 282 


Washington Township 287 

Bears and Other Beaets 291 

Birth, First 288 

Election, First 288 

Fish Stories 292 

Marriage and Death, First 288 

Religious Societies 294 

Roop and Other Pioneers 287 

Saw-Mill, First 291 

Schools 293 

Biogrrapliical Sketches. 

Albion, Town of 363 

Allen Township 415 

Elkhart Township 437 

Green Townbhip 478 

Jefi'ereon Township 381 

Kendallville, City of. 297 

Ligonier, Town of. 332 

Noble Township 467 

Orange Township 399 

Perry Township 354 

Sparta Township 450 

Swan Township 489 

Washington Township 499 

Wayne Township 319 

York Township 467 


Alvord, Samuel 35 

Bowman, John 45 

Bowman, Mrs. Mary 55 

Calbeck, Joseph 230 


Clapp, William M 16 

Eamhart, John 239 

Fisher, Eden H 199 

Foster, Jehu 184 

Gerber, E. B 151 

Hall, William J 321 

Hall, Lucinda 322 

Keehn, George 165 

Kimmell, Orlando 65 

Kiser, Jacob 234 

Kiser, William S 173 

Lang, Julius 75 

Lash, James J 178 

Mitchell, John 117 

Mitchell, William 85 

Ott, Abraham 249 

Ott, George 276 

Pancake, John ,...220 

Prentiss, Nelson 8 

Reed, L. N 131 

Shifaly, John 327 

Singrey, John A 189 

Stanley, H. C 269 

Stewart, James C 244 

Teal, Norman 125 

Tousley, Hiram S 25 

Vanderford, Joel 95 

Vanderford, Mrs. Joel 101 

Voris, W. N 289 

Walker, John 259 

Weston, Thomas B 137 

Weston, Catherine 143 

Wolf, Jacob 159 

Zimmerman, John 224 


Court House, Noble County 4 

Infirmary, Noble County 279 

Jail, Noble County 209 

Addendum. — Mr. J. M. Weaver, father of Charles E. Weaver, Clay Township, was born in 
Richland Co., Ohio, in 1827. Mrs. Mary A. (Charles) Weaver was born in Mifflin, Ashland Co., 
Ohio, in 1831. (See page 441, Part I.) 




by j. h. kerick, m. d. 
Physical Features —Economic Questions — Geology— Agriculture —The 
County Lakes— The Drift Deposit— Bones of the Mastodon— The In- 
dians AND the Mound-Builders— The County Fair— Principal Agri- 
cultural Productions— County Census of 1880. 

npHE history of the white man in Northern Indiana opens at an Indian village 
-L at the head-waters of the Maumee River, Kekionga, now the city of Fort 
Wayne, about the year 1676. The Indian tradition is that one of the mission- 
aries from St. Joseph, on Lake Michigan, came to Kekionga about that time. 
The route of this Frenchman, in all probability, was up the St. Joseph River 
to points where are now White Pigeon, or Three Rivers, and thence across the 
country to Kekionga. If he took this, his most convenient route, he passed 
through the territory now embraced in La Grange County, and was, in all prob- 
ability, the first white man to tread its soil. The famous La Salle followed him 
about four years after going there, over the same route. This theory being true, 
a messenger of peace and good will was the first herald of American civilization 
to tread the soil of Northeastern Indiana. A good harbinger, truly, and as true 
in prophetic significance as good in character ! A French fort was erected at 
Kekionga in 1705, and the place was occupied as a military post successively 
by French, English and Americans until 1819, when the settlements had so in- 
creased and the Indians become so peaceable that the military were moved fur- 
ther West. It is not improbable that during this interval of over 150 years, 
white men, either missionary, trader or hunter, wandered through the forests of 
La Grange. 

In the allotment of territory to the counties of the northeast, La Grange 
County, being on the outside, has been crowded to the Michigan line, and 
consequently has hardly three full tiers of Congressional Townships. The 
county might have been much more extensive to the north had the Indiana 
boundary line been so located as to include territory in the same liberal man- 


ner in which Ohio arranged its boundaries. But this was not done, and it 
was a hard fight to keep what there is of La Grange County, when, in 1834, 
Michigan demanded a " rectification of her frontier." She asked a strip ten 
miles wide off of Northern Indiana, but was ultimately satisfied by the cession 
to her of the Northern Peninsula, the Lake Superior Region. The south- 
ern and middle townships have been organized and named with the boundaries 
as fixed by the United States survey for Congressional Townships. But the 
upper tier, being cut down by the State boundary line to a width of only four 
miles and two-thirds, has been divided into but three townships. Beginning at 
the northeast, these ar-e Greenfield, Lima and Van Buren, the first and last 
nine miles in length, and the second, the richest in the county, but six miles in 
length. The middle tier of townships follow in the usual order of description 
from west to east, Newbury, Clay, Bloomfield, Springfield ; and the southern 
tier, Milford, Johnson, Clearspring, and lastly Eden. 

Thus the 381 square miles of territory are divided into eleven civil town- 
ships. The county takes its name from the country residence of the distin- 
guished Frenchman so dear to Americans, La Fayette ; and of the townships, 
three are given personal names, three borrow a geographical title, four are 
named appropriately, and Eden belongs to the latter class, according to the best 

Let the reader suppose himself upon an elevation — which, however, is a 
severe task for the imagination in Northern Indiana — rather let him fancy a 
position in a comfortable balloon at such a height above La Grange, the center of 
the county, as to sweep the whole county and obtain a comprehensive view of 
its 256,000 "broad acres. " The surface is nearly level — for miles on the prai- 
ries of Lima and in Greenfield it is perfectly so. In Bloomfield, the rolling 
country reaches enough of an elevation at one place to receive the name of the 
"Knobs." In western Clay there is a beautiful mingling of lowlands and 
wooded hills, and away in the northwest a group of blue, white sand-ringed 
lakes lie among the blufis, which sink away into the prairies of Michigan. 

The prairies have an attractiveness of their own, the broken land has its 
variety, and altogether there is a diversity and beauty in the landscape. 

The only considerable stream is Pigeon River, which flows through the 
county northwesterly, and receives most of the creeks which arise in its limits. 
The most important of these are Turkey Creek in Milford and Springfield, Fly 
Creek in the central part, and in the west Buck Creek and Shipshewana, all of 
them inconsiderable and threatening not to " flow on forever." The south and 
southwest are drained into the Elkhart River, the main branch of which has its 
head-waters in Johnson Township. The Little Elkhart rises in the marshes of 
the west. But all these streams are tributaries of the St. Joseph, which car- 
ries their waters to Lake Michigan. In each township of the north another 
stream. Crooked Creek, runs down into the county and back again into Michi- 
gan ; in Van Buren Township, forming the " Island." 


From this it will be seen that the county lies wholly within the St. Lawrence 
basin. But a tributary of the Wabash, marking the edge of the Mississippi 
basin, rises within three miles of the southeast corner of the county, so that it 
is very near the water-shed of these two great systems. The altitude of the 
county is on an average over nine hundred feet above the level of the ocean, 
and four hundred above Lake Erie. The altitude of the Grand Rapids & Indi- 
ana Railway is 959 feet at Wolcottville ; at Valentine, 973 ; La Grange, 927 ; 
Lima, 897 ; State line, 889. The altitude in the southeast is a little over 
1,000 feet above the sea. In the northwest, on the low lands, the altitude is 
800 feet approximately. As the highest point in the State has an altitude of 
only 1,233 feet, it will be seen that La Grange is " near the top." There is no 
higher land in Northern Indiana except the " divides " of Noble and Steuben 
Counties, which exceed it by but a few feet. 

The lakes, of which there are thirty-five, of all areas, from two or three to 
500 or 600 acres, are the most attractive natural features of the county. Oa 
the prairie land of the north, there are comparatively few, but these are the 
finest small bodies of water in the region. We refer to Wall, Cedar, Twin and 
Stone Lakes, which mark the boundary lines of the three northern townships. 
South of these, to the west, the only lake of any importance is Shipshewana, 
the largest of those finding an outlet in Pigeon River. No lakes of more thaa 
forty acres lie wholly in Clay, Eden and Clearspring. Bloomfield has one 
grassy sheet of water. Fish Lake. Springfield has three similar bodies, and 
shares Grass Lake with Greenfield. A large group of lakes in Milford forms 
the source of Turkey Creek. A portion of Turkey Lake lies in this township. 
Little Turkey Lake, Pretty Lake, of some 300 acres, and Long Lake, tvve 
miles long and one-half mile broad. Lake of the Woods is the other large lake 
in this group. Blackmun Lake, in Milford, is the first of the large group which 
makes Johnson emphatically the lake township. These are, except Sloan Lake 
in the north, drained into the Elkhart River. Oliver Lake, with its appendage^ 
Olen Lake, is the most considerable body of water in the county, covering 
over six hundred acres. Adams Lake has an area of about three hundred and 
twenty acres. Atwood Lake covers about two hundred and fifty acres, while 
the long, narrow stretch of water, some three miles long, called Witmer, West- 
ler. Third and Dallas Lakes, occupies several hundred acres. Still another 
small lake, Nauvoo, lies east of Wolcottville. 

All of these picturesque little lakes, if joined together, would only form a 
water area of about seven square miles, but scattered about as they are, with 
beautiful natural surroundings, and filled with fish, such as bass, pickerel, perch, 
sunfish, catfish, and the resort of innumerable feathered game, they are of great 
value, and a source of much recreation. Many of the lakes, however, are 
becoming depopulated of their finny habitants, and every disciple of gentle 
Isaac Walton should urge some measure to restore their former attractiveness ia 
this respect. The lakes are mainly found in the higher lands and not sur- 


rounded with marshy land to a great extent. But a much greater area is occu- 
pied with swamps and marshes. In the western townships, Van Buren, New- 
bury, Eden, Clay and Clearspring, are found most of the wet lands. The most 
extensive of these huge deposits of muck and decaying vegetable matter, are 
Hobbs' Marsh and Big Marsh, a chain of bogs, swamp, little lakes and rivu- 
lets, extending through Clay and Van Buren, and lying between the rolling 
country south and the level lands to the north. But the largest marshes are 
in south Newbury and Eden, along the branches of the Little Elkhart. One 
of these is drained by a large ditch some three miles in length. Scores of 
miles of ditches have been cut, under the State laws, during the last few years, 
and large tracts of land, seemingly irreclaimable, have been brought under the 
yoke — of oxen and the plow. Another decade will witness still greater 
improvements in this respect. 

A more pleasing feature of the landscape are the prairies. Of these, 
Greenfield rejoices in two, covering about twelve sections — English Prairie in 
the center, and to the northwest of Lexington, Pretty Prairie. On the opposite 
side of Cedar Lake and its ouilet, and extending to Lima, lies the beautiful 
Mongoquinong Prairie. The name untranslated is more romantic than the 
English rendering, which is said to be " Big Squaw." In the southern part of 
Springfield lies Brushy Prairie, embracing about three sections. 

In the southwest corner of Clearspring, and the southeast of Eden, is a 
tract of land of some four thousand acres, known as the Haw Patch. ■ This, 
when first settled by the white man, was sparsely covered by oak, hickory and 
hawthorn, and presenting a most enticing prospect to the pioneer. It is still 
a beautiful country, and its farms have, for years, commanded the highest prices 
for lands at a like distance from shipping-points. 

La Grange County is situated upon the great glacial drift, which covers 
to the depth of 100 feet or more the rocks of the Silurian period. They were 
formed at a very remote period in the earth's history, when the lake region was 
one vast inland gulf. These rocks are a kind of gray limestone, and are often 
more than a thousand feet in thickness. They are almost wholly composed of 
the remains of the lower forms of marine life, such as radiates, mollusks and 
articulates. But it is only in the southern counties of this region that these 
Silurian rocks are found at the surface. As to the cause of this overlying de- 
posit of sand, clay and gravel, the generally adopted theory is well stated by 
Mr. Christian Y. Roop, formerly of La Grange, in an essay upon La Grange 
Oounty geology, as follows : 

"Nearly every part of the earth's crust has been subject to frequent 
changes of elevation. When the Silurian rocks were being formed by the 
deposition of shells, a shallow inland sea covered all this region of country, 
and the whole of what is now North America enjoyed an almost tropical 
climate. But as time rolled on, the continent gradually became more and 
more elevated, the climate became colder and colder, the ice fields of the North 


grew southward, as the Alpine glaciers flow, until at last the whole northern 
part of North America was covered with snow and ice, thousands of feet 
thick ; from these vast ice fields there issued with slow motion, but almost 
resistless power, those enormous glaciers, or rivers of ice, in whose paths 
mountains were reduced to pebbles, and the hardest rocks were ground to 
sand. As these glaciers moved southward, the increasing heat melted and 
diminished them until they finally disappeared, giving rise to numerous rivers 
that dashed onward to the ocean. The melting of the glaciers, of course, 
caused the deposit of those immense masses of rocks and earth which had been 
transported from the far North. These deposits form what is called the great 
northern drift, and their southern limit in Indiana is not far from the city of 
Indianapolis. South of that line, we find none of those large rounded granite 
bowlders such as are so plenty in this county. After long ages of glacial action, 
the continent began to slowly subside ; and, as the climate again grew warmer, 
the limit of the moving wall of ice was gradually pressed toward the North. 
Each returning summer the land was deluged with terrific floods, flowing from 
the melting glaciers. These annual floods served to still further grind and 
mix the enormous glacial deposits, until at last the wall of ice was pushed so 
far north that the water from the melting mass found shorter passage to the 
sea ; and all this region of country was left a gently rolling surface, much as 
Ave now find it." 

As the ice gradually receded to the north, and the huge lakes drained 
away, they left a country covered, in the low places, with beds of blue clay, 
and large deposits of gravel and sand. Upon this a vegetation sprang up> 
much like that of the present. But in the forests, and over the level plains, 
there roamed some animals that would now seem strangely out of place in In- 
diana. Not only bisons and horses, and other animals familiar to us, but huge 
mastodons and mammoths, who browsed from the trees and watered at the 
lakes and the wide, sluggish rivers. Their remains have almost entirely per- 
ished, except in those instances where the animals were caught in the mire. 
A number of teeth, however, have resisted the erosion of years, and are some- 
times plowed up in the fields. 

A few yeai's ago, a Mr. Boyd, while ditching in Hobbs' Marsh, a few miles 
northwest of La Grange, discovered the well-preserved skull of a mastodon, but 
the other portions had disappeared. The bones were found about three feet be- 
neath the surface. They were washed and taken to La Grange, where they cre- 
ated considerable excitement. One man ofiered $5 for them, another offered 
$10, and a commercial traveler raised the amount to $75, but the owner refused 
to sell at any price. He exhibited them at Ligonier, La Grange, and at other 
places, but at last sold them for a small amount to parties at La Grange, where 
they are now owned. The bones are undoubtedly those of the mastodon, as 
the crown of the teeth have those peculiar conical projections characteristic of 
the animal, besides two small cavities some two inches in diameter, on the ante- 


rior portion of the inferior maxillary, for the insertion, probably, of small 
tusks, or teeth. 

Since then, the country has been in great part covered by lakes and marshes, 
gradually filling up with decaying vegetable matter. In some unexplained 
way, the prairies have been formed, with their rich, loamy soil. The oak open- 
ings, covering over half the county, have produced a sandy loam, while in the 
heavy timber, the clay predominates. This diversity in soil favors a variety in 
farm products. The " barrens " are well adapted to wheat; the clay lands, in 
addition to wheat, corn, grass and oats, and the prairies to wheat and corn. 
With respect to the dry lands of the different townships, Newbury, Eden, Clear- 
spring, Lima, Greenfield and Springfield are almost wholly prairies and oak 
openings ; Milford and Van Buren largely oak openings ; while Bloomfield, 
Clay, Newbury and Johnson had much heavy timber. 

In many of the marshes, large beds of marl are found. There are, of course, 
no stone quarries, and the only stone available as building material are the 
bowlders, which sufiice only for foundation walls. Little clay is found in the 
county, and much of this is so intermixed with gravel as to be useless. A brick 
yard a few miles south, and one west of La Grange, have furnished most of the 
brick used in building in La Grange and vicinity. Of course, no ores are found 
in the county, of any noteworthy economic value. In several of the marshes 
occur considerable deposits of bog iron ore or limonite, a hydrous oxide of iron 
collected by decaying plants from the soil and water. Such an abundance of it 
was found on Buck Creek that it was smelted for some years, at the " Old 
Forge " in Lima Township. But this mineral is not valuable, unless as the last 

The resources of La Grange County, it will be seen, are exclusively in the 
rich soil. This, before the settler came, produced magnificent forests. The 
following list includes all the important trees, in the order of their abundance 
at present : Beech, white oak, burr oak, black oak, red oak, sugar maple, elm, 
poplar or tuliptree, white ash, blue ash, hard maple, pignut hickory, black ash, 
shellbark hickory, basswood, black walnut, cherry, sycamore, sassafras, white 
walnut, tamarack, cottonwood, white pine, coffee-nut, red cedar and box elder. 
At an earlier day, however, walnut, ash and hickory stood nearer the head of 
the list. Other shrubs, such as hawthorn, dogwood, iron wood, papaw, 
plum, hazel, crab apple, shadberry, contribute by their fruit or flowers to the 
beauty or interest of the forests. Huckleberries and cranberries are abundant 
in many places, and grapes, blackberries, gooseberries, raspberries, strawber- 
ries, are found everywhere. Of the smaller plants, representatives of nearly 
every family in American botany are found here, except the vegetation of rocks 
and mountains. Much valuable timber has been squandered in the county, but 
great destruction was inevitable in the early days, for farms had to be cleared, 
and there was no possible disposition of the timber except to roll it into the log 
Heap and burn it. The forests have furnished the whole of the fuel of the 


county until within a very few years, when coal is just beginning to be intro- 

The fauna of the county is not extensive. In the earliest settlement, deer, 
wolves, beavers, and an infrequent bear and Avildcat, were the most important 
wild animals, and occasionally still a bear strays into the county and raises a 
commotion. Squirrels of several varieties are quite numerous in the woods, 
and are the principal attraction to the hunter, and the fox, polecat, ground hog, 
rabbit, mink, muskrat, weasel, mole, mouse and gopher are more or less abund- 
ant. Game birds are much less numerous than formerly, and are rapidly dis- 
appearing. Of these, the most common were the quail, pheasant, prairie fowl, 
pigeon, wild turkey, geese, ducks, cranes and snipes. Owls, hawks and more 
ignoble birds of prey are in the usual number, and occasionally an eagle visits 
the forests. Reptiles are not very plentiful, except the harmless ones, although 
about the marshes the less venomous species of rattlesnake, the Massasauga, is 
slaughtered occasionally, during hay cutting, in great numbers. These poison- 
ous reptiles have been very numerous in the swamps, but have been productive 
of extremely little mortality, if any. The most valuable insect of the early 
days was, of course, the "busy bee," and the red man and white man vied in 
pursuit of its luscious product. Honey was very abundant. There is no 
scarcity in any branch of insect life, except that the county is little troubled 
with any of the pests which destroy the crops. The potato beetle is of course 
excepted. This interesting tramp is universal. 

The Indians found in the county by the white settlers were of the Potta- 
watomie tribe, an inoifensive, quiet people, like all true Indians, much addicted 
to the chase. Their worst crime was the consumption of the "fire-water" 
which the pale-face supplied to them, and their capacity in this respect was 
almost unbounded. They occupied the St. Joseph country and Kankakee 
Valley. One of their most important villages was Mongoquinong, now called 
Lima, and Ontario, from which trails led south to Fort Wayne, upon which was 
afterward built the "old Wayne road," north to the large Indian village once 
near the site of Mendon, Mich., westward to the St. Joseph Mission, and 
another to Haw Patch. Along these trails, and many others running through- 
out the county, there was continual travel by the nomadic red men in their 
hunting and trading expeditions. During the excitement of the Black Hawk 
war in 1832, there was some fear that the Pottawatomies would join in the 
scrimmage, and it was even reported at one time that at a certain phase of the 
moon they would make an alliance with a hostile tribe. But nothing came of 
it. One day during this feverish time, it was told that a practical joker among 
the pale-faces of Union Mills, with the help of several whites and Indians, 
concocted a scheme that so thoroughly frightened the neighborhood that the 
remembrance is yet fresh in the minds of the citizens. The details may be 
found in the chapter on Springfield Township. In 1839, the Indi.ins were 
removed westward, finally to Kansas. Coquillard was one of the agents for 


their removal. They submitted to the purchase of their homes very readily, as 
a tribe, but many of them were anxious to remain. They clung lovingly to 
their old St. Joseph country, and even after it was thought all were gone, a 
lone Pottawatomie would sometimes wander back to the old hunting grounds. 

The curious custom of burial prevailing among the Indians would often 
give rise to sensations. It would not be uncommon to find the remains of their 
dead tied to a tree in a thicket. One day some persons uncovering a sugar 
trough below Van Buren, where a White Pigeon party had been making sugar, 
were startled to find it had become the sepulcher of a red man. The most 
notable chiefs before the white men came were White Pigeon, whom one of the 
oldest settlers, John Kromer, remembered meeting, and who is buried at a well 
known spot near the town which bears his name ; and Shipshewana, who sleeps 
on the north shore of the lake which commemorates him, some say, although it 
is claimed by others that his grave was some distance east of the lake. 

This country is, as must already have occurred to the reader, admirably 
adapted to agricultural pursuits. This adaption was early recognized, and a 
commendable disposition and effort manifested to make the best use of it. 
Another fact was also appreciated, and that is, that agricultural development 
of a community was not best promoted by every tiller of the soil's digging 
away, week after week, and year after year, many planting, reaping and gar- 
nering away, regardless of all around, or of any improvements that might be 
suggested by others, or with indifference to social advancement of society. 
The illiterate idea that not brains, but brute force only, is needed for good 
farming, was discarded, and an effort made to advance the true and nobler 
ideal ; that agricultural pursuits should, of all others, be the master agencies of 
civilization; that they should challenge the attention of the best and wisest ; 
that instead of allowing the towns and cities to attract away the aspiring youth, 
the farm home should have that intelligence, refinement and honor ; that young 
men should see in it more facilities for culture and distinction, than in the 
bustle, turmoil and pit-falls of city life. To secure this, it was seen that farm- 
ers must aspire to excellence in cultivation, produce the best the soil can be 
compelled to bring forth, raise the best stock, have neat homes, promote social 
and pleasant intercourse among themselves. As the people in towns and cities 
co-operate in the improvements that make to the material benefit of all, so must 
farmers. Among the co-operate measures that have done much to honor the 
calling of farming, has been that of county agricultural societies, for the hold- 
ing of annual fairs. La Grange County was one of the earliest counties to 
lead off in this direction, and it is believed the most faithful and persistent in 
the State. No county agricultural society in the State that has so long continual 
existence, or held fairs without interruption so many years, can now be recalled. 

The La Grange County Agricultural Society was organized October 1, 
1852. The first officers were : Amos Davis, President; Andrew E. Durand, 
Vice President ; Robert McClasky, Treasurer; C. B. Holmes, Secretary. The 

La Grange County Court House 


first fair was held on the 18th day of October, 1853, for the premiums of which, 
we find the records show $250 were appropriated. The Presidents and Secre- 
taries of the society since, have been: 1853 — C. Corey, President; C. B. 
Holmes, Secretary. 1854 — C. Corey, President; Mills Averill, Secretary. 
1855 — C. Corey, President; Mills Averill, Secretary. (The fair this year was 
held at Lima, but the next year was permanently located at La Grange.) 
1856-57-58— Hawley Peck, President; C. B. Holmes, Secretary. 1859— H. 
L. Putney, President; C. B. Holmes, Secretary. 1860-61-62 — No elections 
on record. 1868 — Hawley Peck, President; J. Rice, Secretary. 1864 — 
Jared Ford, President; Thomas Van Kirk, Secretary. 1865 — Dr. A. Lewis, 
President; Thomas Van Kirk, Secretary. 1866 — William Dorsey, President; 
Thomas Van Kirk, Secretary; receipts of the fair, $963.34. 1868— Nelson 
Slater, President; Dr. F. P. Griffith, Secretary; receipts, $485.42. 1869— 
Luke Selby, elected President; George K. Poyser, acting President; Dr. F. 
P. Griffith, Secretary; receipts of fair, $447.92. 1870— Elisha Talmagc, 
President; Dr. F. P. Griffith, Secretary. 1871— C. B. Holmes, President; 
Thomas Van Kirk, Secretary; receipts, $883.40. 1872— C. B. Holmes, 
President; Thomas Van Kirk, Secretary; receipts, $1,001.50. 1873— C. B. 
Holmes, President; Thomas Van Kirk, Secretary; receipts, $1,370. 1874 — 
C. B. Holmes, President; W. T. Hissong, Secretary; receipts, $1,406.35. 
1875 — C. B. Holmes, President ; Thomas Van Kirk, Secretary ; J. S. Drake, 
Treasurer; receipts, $1,292. 1876— C. B. Holmes, President; Thomas Van 
Kirk, Secretary; receipts, $1,142.75. 1877— C. B. Holmes, President; 
Thomas Van Kirk, Secretary; receipts, $1,682.25. 1878— S. K. Ruick, 
President; Ira Ford, Secretary; receipts, $1,234. 1879— S. K. Ruick, Pres- 
ident; Ira Ford, Secretary; receipts, $1,175.75. 1880 — John McDonald, 
President; John M. Preston, Secretary; receipts, $1,621.78. 1881 — John 
McDonald, President; J. J. Gillette, Secretary; receipts, $1,105.66. 

Spring fairs have been held in the spring of the last three years, but 
have not, with the exception of the first one, proved profitable to the society. 

The principal productions owned and being produced in the county for the 
years 1880 and 1881, and other items, as gathered by the Assessors, and 
reported June 1, 1881, are as follows : 

Acres of wheat sown in the fall of 1880 47,095 

Acres of spring wheat sown in the spring of 1881 21 

Acres of corn planted in 1881 24,102 

Acres of oats sown in 1881 5,889 

Acres of rye sown in 1881 64 

Acres of buckwheat to be sown 166 

Acres of Irish potatoes in 1881 741 

Acres of timothy meadow in 1881 6,117 

Acres of clover in 1881 22,283 

Acres of blue grass and other wild grass 9,323 

Acres of plow land not cultivated in 1881 8,516 

Acres of new land brought under cultivation in 1881 1,384 


Number of acres of timber land fenced or unfenced in 1881 43,600 

Number of steam threshers owned during threshing season of 1880 40 

Number of horse-power threshers owned during the season of 1880 4 

Number of bushels of wheat cut and threshed in 1880 865,418 

Number of bushels of oats cut and threshed in 1880 150,165 

Number of bushels of rye cut and threshed in 1880 300 

Number of bushels of flaxseed cut and threshed in 1880 5,673 

Acres of wheat harvested in 1880 47,879 

Bushels of wheat harvested in 1880 769,224 

Bushels of corn gathered in 1880 21,878 

Bushels of wheat gathered in 1880 764,019 

Acres of oats harvested in 1880 6,022 

Bushels of oats harvested in 1880 165,826 

Acres of Irish potatoes planted in 1880 581 

Bushels of Irish potatoes dug in 188d 41,778 

Acres of meadow in 1880 13,054 

Tons of bay cut in 1880 19,042 

Acres of clover cut in 1880 8,523 

Bushels of clover seed sown in 1880 4,678 

Bushels of fall apples, 1880 120,860 

Bushels of winter apples, 1880 63,383 

Bushels of dried apples, 1880 1,854 

Bushels of pears, 1880 879 

Bushels of peaches, 1880 6,861 

Bushels of dried peaches, 1880 300 

Pounds of grapes, 1880 117,059 

Gallons of strawberries, 1880 4,095 

Gallons of currants, gooseberries and blackberries. 1880 5,987 

Gallons of cherries, 1880 11,688 

Gallons of cider, 1880 206,218 

Gallons of vinegar, 1880 8,045 

Gallons of wine, 1880 462 

Gallons of sorghum molasses, 1880 6,063 

Gallons of maple molasses, 1880 787 

Pounds of maple sugar, 1880 4,050 

Gallons of milk from the cows, 1880 1,647,637 

Pounds of butter sold and used by the producers, 1880 476,048 

Number of horses one year old and under. 585 

Number of horses one to two years old 492 

Number of horses two to three years old 441 

Number of horses three to four years old 357 

Number of horses four years old and over 4,469 

Number of mules one year old and under 8 

Number of mules of other ages 72 

Number of cattle one year old and under 4,038 

Number of cattle one to two years old 2,761 

Number of cattle two to three years old 1,339 

Number of cattle three years old and over 7,098 

Number of fattened hogs 16,728 

Average weight of fattened hogs, pounds 201 

Number of fatted hogs which will be old and fat, 1881 14,248 

Number of grown sheep 33,503 

Number of lambs 10,030 

Number of pounds of wool clipped in 1880 135,356 


Dozens of chickens sold and used for the last twelve months 5,727 

Dozens of turkeys used and sold for the last twelve months 321 

Dozens of geese sold and used for the last twelve months 103 

Dozens of ducks sold and used for the last twelve months 263 

Dozens of eggs sold and used for the last twelve months 174,441 

Pounds of feathers picked 706 

Total number of dogs owned or kept 1,185 

Number of stands of bees 1,612 

Number of pounds of honey taken for the past twelve months 7,173 

Number of pianos 38 

Number of organs 342 

Number of sewing machines 1,389 

From the State Statistician's Report of 1880, we glean the following items 
in relation to the county : 

Number of church organizations 32 

Number of members — male, 722; female, 1,091 1,813 

Value of church structures $50,000 

Amount of salaries paid ministers, one year $8,094 

Number of practicing physicians 28 

Number of attorneys 18 

Number of ministers 29 

Number of teachers in public schools 195 


Rate of wages paid for the year ending June 30, 1879, monthly and 
T^reekly rates being reduced to the equivalent per day : 

Bar-tenders I 77 

Brickmakers 1 50 

Blacksmiths 1 87 

Brick-masons 2 08 

Cabinet-makers 2 00 

Carpenters 1 87 

Day laborers 1 00 

Hotel clerks 77 

Coopers 1 50 

Dressmakers 75 

Domestic help 34 

Engineers, stationary 1 08 

Farm hands 63 

Livery-stable hands 69 

Machinists 1 00 


Miles of railroad in the county 16.57 

Cost of construction and equipment $557,416 

Value for taxation, 1881 $145,335 

Miles of common roads 665 

Estimated cost of construction and maintenance for the last ten years $266,000 

Acres of land in roadways 2,759 

Estimated value of lands in roadways $44,144 

Total estimated value invested for the use of the public, as in public 
buildings, schoolhouses, churches, roads, bridges, and permanent 
school fund , $1,200,000 



In 1875 Land, 2,525. Lots, 360 

In 1879 Land, 2,760. Lots, 350 

This indicates that land-owners are increasing, rather than diminishing. 


The population of the county, as reported by the census returns, ha& 
been as follows : 

1840 3,661 

1850 8,369 

1860 11,350 

1870 14,123 

1880 15.639 

The last census showed 8,017 males, 7,622 females. Of the males, 3,940 
were of voting age, over twenty-one years. 

The population of the several townships, in 1880, was : 

1880 1870 

Van Buren 1,374 1,347 

Newbury 1,392 1,159 

Eden 1,111 930 

Clearspring 1,370 1,223 

Clay 1,408 1,223 

Lima 1,336 1,371 

Greenfield 1,182 1,078 

Bloomfield 2,571 2,254 

Johnson '. 1,565 1,322 

Milford 1,312 1,288 

Springfield 1,018 928 

15,639 14,123 

Of those reported in 1880, 110 had passed their seventy-fifth year. The 
oldest reported was eighty-nine. 

Table showing the number of marriage licenses issued, the number of 
letters of administration or executorship taken out, and the number of divorce* 
granted in the county, during the last eleven years : 

Marriage Letters of Ad- 
Tear. Licenses ministration and Divorces. 

Issued. Executorship. 

1870 130 23 16 

1871 95 23 13 

1872 98 28 22 

1878 124 23 10 

1874 132 22 18 

1875 : 110 25 8 

1876 117 22 11 

1877 113 29 8 

1878 124 32 14 

1879 118 19 11 

1880 104 ... 18 

Total 1,265 ... 149 


[The following from the pen of Mr. Edward S. Edmunds, an enthusiastic 
student of geology, as well as of all other branches of natural science, will be 
read with interest. — Ed.] 

Glancing backward through the cycles and epicycles of the past, the evi- 
dences of constant and untiring change are written as with a mystic pen upon 
all forms of matter. So far as the human mind can penetrate with its keen 
acumen, its profound reasoning and its knowledge and experience of the past, 
unmistakable proofs of growth and development of even our own planet are to 
be seen upon every hand. If we trace human history downward into pre-his- 
toric soil, we find it replete with evidences of the rise, decline and fall of nations. 
From the ashes of the old, like the ancient phoenix, the new has arisen, and pass- 
ing toward the zenith of its power it rushed onward to the horizon of dissolu- 
tion, having been borne forward by the ever-flowing current of human destiny. 
Thus for ages these dramas of human life have been enacted. Likewise through 
the geologic past, the three great kingdoms of nature have been built, torn down 
and rebuilt in cyclic repetition. The human mind, having emerged from the 
dark clouds of superstition which have hung like the pall of night over the 
path of progression, is asserting its just and proper right — that of reason ; hence 
in the seed of the present lies the golden fruit of the future. " Star-eyed sci- 
ence " opens wide the door of knowledge and invites the thinking and un- 
thoughtful to explore her hidden vaults and seize the precious treasures which 
have lain hidden through all the cosmical ages. The human mind, being a prod- 
uct of the Divine mind, seeks to know the causes of this world of complex mat- 
ter, recognizing that all things are governed by Law. Chief among the ques" 
tions now agitating the depths of the thinking mind is that of world-formation. 
In this connection, the two scieftces. Astronomy and Geology, go hand in hand ; 
but as the former pertains to the universe, we take the latter and will endeavor 
to present to the reader the revealed geology of our county. Leaving the topo- 
graphical portion, which has been described by Dr. Rerick, the first thing that 
claims our attention is the character of the soil. As many do not know how 
the soil has been formed, I will endeavor to explain the matter in question. 
Throughout the long and wonderful periods of geological history, the " forces 
of nature," such as heat, light, air, water, electricity, etc., have continually 
wrought upon the rocky portion of the earth's crust. Continents have arisen 
from the bosom of primitive seas, to be submerged again beneath the waters of 
a boiling cauldron. For we must remember that the internal fires of our planet 
in former times often broke through the thin film of rock, overturning the land 
thus far raised above the first ocean. This operation must have been repeated 
innumerably when, by this constant action, assisted by the destroying power of 
electricity and other agents, massive portions of rock were ground to powder. 
The different elements of nature, such as oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, etc., are 
powerful agencies of destruction and composition, and during the time when our 
county was covered with ice-fields and glaciers, this disintegration was carried 


on. Thus, after years and centuries and, for aught we know, aeons of time, 
many places upon the earth's surface are covered with, this powdered rock. 
During the more recent periods, the vegetation which has flourished for cen- 
turies has passed through its cycles of growth, dropped to the earth and min- 
gled its substance with the powdered rock. Thus, by a constant intermingling 
of the humus (as it is called) with the disintegrated rock, we have the substance 
called soil. 

The chemical elements of the soil differ greatly with the locality. Here, 
it must be known by the reader that of all the elements entering into the 
structure of the everlasting rock, silica is the most abundant, composing nearly 
one-half of the crust. It is prevalent in almost every variety of rock, and, in 
its pure state, is what we term "sand." The white color, or clear appearance 
of the sand, is ■ owing to the characteristics of the silica. Upon examination, 
under a microscope of moderate power, these particles are found to be, in many 
instances, of crystalline form, having numerous geometrical angles. If, on the 
other hand, the sand is of a dirty or yellow appearance, it is owing to the 
quantity of iron or other coloring matter contained. Regarding the quality of 
the soil, the prairies, having been covered for centuries with rank vegetation, 
and previously submerged by the lakes that covered that portion of the surface, 
are covered with what is called a "black loam" — the cause of this color being 
the abundance of that productive quality of the soil, " humus," or vegetable 
mold. This, through the changes which have been wrought, has become com- 
pounded with the sand in small quantities, and through the agency of " sub- 
soiling," it has mixed somewhat with the under soil, thus rendering it highly 
productive. Upon what are called the " oak-openings," the soil, having a 
much less quantity of '■^ humus," contains a much larger percentage of sand, 
consequently it is of a lighter color. Hence, with fertilizers and cropping, it 
is quite well adapted to the cereals, as the large portion of silica it contains 
enters so materially into the stalk of the grain. Scattered throughout the 
county are quite extensive marshes, which owe their formation to rank vegeta- 
ble growth and submersion after a series of years, the accumulation being so 
great as to form, in some instances, a thick matted stratum several feet in thick- 
ness. In some instances, however, several strata have been formed in the same 
way. In Ireland, and in numerous places in this country, these formations are 
numerous, and are known under the familiar name of "peat bogs." In Ire- 
land the poorer classes cut these bogs up into squares and rectangles, and when 
dry, the peat makes good fuel. When these " peat beds " have become for a 
long time submerged, they form coal. In earlier geological ages, when the 
mastodon, dinotherium, etc., flourished, they often wandered over these marshes, 
and, sinking into the mire, portions of their skeletons have been preserved, 
where they fell a victim to indiscretion, but a monument to the geologist. La 
Grange County lies wholly within the Bowlder Drift, or Quaternary epoch, 
varying from eighty to two hundred and twelve feet in thickness, approxi- 


mately. In many instances these figures are, perhaps, much modified, but by 
carefully examining the wells that have been sunk, and from the statements of 
those engaged in well-sinking, I have come to this conclusion: The clay 
formation is most predominant, with a little sand and clay on the top, inter- 
spersed with now and then a bowlder. This develops the fact that the great 
bulk of the recent formation is clay. Near the gravel this is often very com- 
pact, and is then called "hard-pan." Sometimes, in boring for water, the 
auger strikes a large bowlder ; in such cases, the auger must be withdrawn and 
another trial made in a new locality. Generally, after going through the " hard- 
pan," water is found in the layer of sand below. In some localities, the clay 
is so abundant that it has been used in the manufacture of brick, but in nearly 
every instance has been abandoned, as the predominance of lime rendered them 
inferior for building purposes. However, some brick are burned, but they are 
used only for rough work. 

In some localities, and particularly in Van Buren Township, beds of 
" bog-iron ore " occur, and, as these are the most extensive of any in the 
county, I will describe them and their formation. They lie about a mile south- 
west of the village of Van Buren, in quite a low portion of that section, and 
covering an area of several thousand square yards. For many years after these 
beds were discovered, and even after they had been worked for some time, their 
origin was unknown. But since science has become developed, it is no longer 
a mystery. The wonderful chemical laboratory of nature is the scene of these 
mysterious transformations. The " bog ore " of Van Buren is said to contain 
in its purest form 70 per cent of iron, and when smelted is remarkable for its 
tenacity. This, together with its large percentage of iron, has, during the 
earlier history of the county, caused these mines to be extensively worked. 
Smelting works were established in Lima Township, where for some years the 
"ore " was prepared for the market; but after railroads were established, and 
more extensive mines discovered, these sank into insignificance. 

xls history is the record of the past events of man, so is geology the his- 
tory of our planet ; and, as the monuments and traditions of past ages reveal 
to us the condition of humanity at particular periods, so do the rocky monuments 
— the fossils and the primitive sea-beach — disclose to the geologist the remains 
of former continents, upon whose shores the primitive ocean beat, and in whose 
waters there existed the animals of those epochs. Since the creation of the 
science of geology, these different epochs have received names which have given 
us a geological nomenclature, as follows : Archaean, Silurian, Devonian, 
Carboniferous, etc. As ours is the "Bowlder Period," the underlying rocks 
which crop out not far from Indianapolis are covered to the depth of many 
hundred feet with the drift which came from the extreme northern regions ; 
and so the fossils of our county are the rocky testimonials of the existence of 
Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous periods of growth. Many interesting 
fossils have been gathered from the field, the brook, the cemetery and the hill- 


side. To many of those who have them hoarded up, they are nothing more 
than " curious stones," but to the geologist they are land-marks of former ages, 
when the conditions for existence were far different than now. Conglomerates, 
" pudding-stone," geodes, trilobites, different kinds of shell-fish, animals re- 
sembling the lobster, craw-fish, etc., are found. Of these, however, the trilo- 
bite, the earlier animal of the Silurian seas, is rarely found, only a few 
specimens having been preserved. Of the later periods, I have found a few of 
the minor specimens of the Jurassic and Triassic periods.* This, by noted 
geologists, is regarded as very remarkable ; but, when we consider the fact that 
this period crops out in British Columbia as well as on the Rocky Mountains, 
it were easy to conceive of such fossils drifting, with those of other periods, to 
the southward. At some future time, when an opportunity presents itself, I 
intend to put on exhibition and publish an account of these remarkable fossils. 
[Since it has been established that Northern Indiana, including La Grange 
County, is rich in the remains of that mysterious people known as Mound- 
Builders, it seems necessary to give at this point what is known of those people 
in this vicinity. The reader will find in Chapter I, Part II, of this volume, a 
complete classification of the Mound-Builders' works. Without attempting 
another such classification, the antiquities of La Grange County, so far as known, 
will be considered. It may be premised, that, from the fact that no supposi- 
tional military fortifications have been discovered in either of the two counties. 
La Grange or Noble, the territory was in the center of a large country of Mound- 
Builders, and not on the border, or between two or more hostile tribes. Nothing 
has been found here, with one possible exception, save sepulchral, sacrificial 
and memorial mounds. Owing to the state of the weather, the historian has 
been unable (as was done in Noble County) to make a personal examination of 
the mounds of La Grange County. However, many of thosa^which were opened 
in the past by citizens of the county, who were generally careles>4n their exam- 
inations, have been made to yield up a portion of their secrets. A number of 
years ago, two mounds were opened on Section 13, Milford Township. A quan- 
tity of crumbling human bones was taken from one of them, among them being 
a skull quite well preserved. Some of the teeth were almost as sound as they 
ever were, and the under-jaw, a massive one, was especially well preserved. In 
the other mound was found a layer of ashes and charcoal, extending over two 
or three square yards of ground. This was undoubtedly a mound where sacri- 
fices were offered to the deity of the Mound-Builders, and where burial rites 
with fire were performed. On the line between Sections 20 and 29, Springfield 
Township, is what might have been a fortification. The writer carefully exam- 
ined the spot which is the summit of a gradual elevation ; but, although Mr. 

* If it is really the case that Mr. Edmunds has discovered in the county rocky or fossiliferous relics of the 
Jurassic or Triassic periods, the discovery will certainly be of great interest to those who have made the geology of 
Northern Indiana a study. As the Drift, with which these relics were found, came from the north, it could only haTe 
come from those places where strata of the Jurassic or Triassic periods outcropped or were sufficiently near the sur- 
face to admit of being taken up, either by the glaciers, or later, by their successors— the icebergs. The l-rift of thio 
locality couM scarcely have come from British Columbia or Connecticut, or Massachusetts, or further south along the 
Atlantic coast, as is proved by the glacial markings, which usually do not vary greatly from a north and south line. 
The relics may have been brought here by icebergs, which were wider travelers than the glaciers. Or, perhaps, the 
relics do not belong to the above-named periods after all. 





George Thompson indicated the position of the alleged circular embankment, 
only slight traces of it were visible, and these were apparently much the result 
of speculation. It may have been, however, as the old settlers assert. Near the 
center of the level space on the summit was a large mound, at least five feet in 
height, in 1836. This was opened about that time, and from it were taken 
enough bones to indicate that more than one person had been buried there. 
It is said that a few trinkets, such as slate ornaments or mica, were found. In 
the same township, about a mile northwest of this spot, is one large mound and 
perhaps a smaller one. These, it is said, have not been seriously disturbed. 
On Section 27, Clay Township, are two mounds, large ones, which have not been 
subjected to exhaustive examination. The writer has been told that there are 
three mounds in the eastern part of Lima Township, on the farm of George 
Shafer. Three-quarters of a mile northwest of Lima, on the Craig farm, are 
three mounds, which were opened a number of years ago. The usual bones and 
charcoal were found, as were also various trinkets, which may be seen in the 
private collections of curiosities at Lima. About forty rods west of James 
Moony's house, in Van Buren Township, are three mounds, all of which have 
been opened. Human bones, slate ornaments and other trinkets were found, 
as was also an abundance of ashes and charcoal. There are also mounds in 
the vicinity of Buck, Shipshewana and Twin Lakes. The peculiar formation 
about Wall and other lakes is due to the agency of ice. It is thought by some 
that the Indians or Mound-Builders were responsible for the embankment, but 
no one familiar with formations of the kind will make such a declaration. Such 
walls are very numerous on the banks of Western lakes, especially those of 
Illinois and Iowa. Around some of the lakes of the latter State is a continuous 
chain of bowlders and gravel, which, by observation through some thirty years, 
was undoubtedly thrown up by the united action of ice and waves, and the pro- 
cess of freezing and thawing. This fact is well understood and universally 
admitted by geologists, in Iowa. It may be added that there are other evidences 
in the county of the presence in past years of the Mound-Builders aside from 
their mounds. Reference is made to stone or other implements or ornaments. 
W. H. Duff and Master George Dayton, both of Lima, and Dr. Betts, of La 
Grange, especially the former two, have fine collections of antiquities. Mr. 
Duff has nearly 300 specimens, and Master Dayton has over 400. These con- 
sist mainly of stone axes, mauls, hammers, celts, mortars, pestles, flint arrow 
and spear heads, copper knives, and copper arrow or spear heads, fleshing and 
skinning instruments, ceremonial stones, shuttles, and various other implements 
evidently used in weaving or sewing, colored slate ornaments, breast-plates of 
stone, ornamental charms and totems, igneous stones, many curious varieties of 
arrow-heads and darts, etc., etc. There have also been found in the county a 
few extremely rare slate or stone ornaments or implements, bone and metallic 
ornaments, small fragments of pottery, mica (not native), curiously carved pipes 
of stone or other substance, besides other articles, the uses of which are extremely 
doubtful. Much more might be said in detail on the same subject. — Ed.] 



Organization of the County— The First Term of Court— Tiifi Bench and 
THE Bar— Trials for Murder— Public Buildings— Reminiscences of 
the Early Law Practitioners— Sketch of the Early Physicians and 
the Practice of Medicine— Valuable County Statistics. 

FOR some years prior to 1833, the territory to be in the future called La 
Grange County and portions of Steuben, Noble and DeKalb Counties were 
attached to Elkhart County and known as the township of Mongoquinong. 
The county seat was at Goshen, Elkhart County, and one of the oldest living 
settlers was called to that place to serve upon a jury before the formation of 
this county. The first step toward separation was on February 2, 1832, sixteen 
years after the organization of the State, when Gov. Noah Noble approved the 
act for the organization of the county. This act provided that " from and 
after the 1st day of April next, all that tract of country included in the fol- 
lowing boundaries shall form and constitute a new county, to be known and 
designated by the name of the county of La Grange, to wit: Beginning at 
the northeast corner of Elkhart County, thence running east with the northern 
boundary to the range line between 11 and 12, thence south sixteen and a half 
miles, thence west to eastern boundary of Elkhart County, thence north with 
said boundary to the beginning." 

Levi G. Thompson and Francis Comparet, of Allen County ; W. B. Grif- 
fith, of St. Joseph; Peter Noland, of Delaware; and William Watt, of Union, 
were appointed Commissioners to "fix the seat of justice," which task they 
were ordered to accomplish on the second Monday of May, 1833^ at the house 
of Moses Bice. The Commissioners were to be notified of their appointment 
by the Sherifi" of Allen County. The same act provided that the Circuit Court 
and the Board of County Commissioners, when elected under the writ of elec- 
tion from the Executive Department, should hold their first session at the house 
of Moses Rice and adjourn to as near the center of the county as a convenient 
place could be had. It also provided that the agent appointed to superintend 
the sale of lots at the county seat should retain 10 per cent of the proceeds for 
the use of the public library. For judicial purposes, the county was attached 
to the Sixth Judicial District and was to be represented in the Legislature 
jointly with Allen County. All of the State east of La Grange and south to 
Townships 33 and 34, which includes Steuben County and three-fourths of De 
Kalb and Noble Counties, were attached to the new county for civil and judi- 
cial purposes. The Circuit Court was ordered to be held on the Mondays 


succeeding the courts in Elkhart County and to sit three days each term, if 
the business demanded so extensive a session. 

The townships were organized as follows: The first division into townships 
was into Lima and Greenfield, May 14, 1832. The remaining townships were 
organized as follows: Eden, November 5, 1832; Springfield, May 4, 1834; 
Bloomneld, May 5, 1835 ; Van Buren, January 3, 1837 ; Newbury, March 6, 
1837; Clearspring, March 6, 1837; Johnson, March 6, 1837; Milford, Sept- 
ember 5, 1837 ; Clay, September 4, 1838. 

A county election was held in the spring of 1832, which resulted in the 
choice of the following first county officers : Joshua T. Hobbs, Clerk ; Daniel 
Harding, Sherifi"; Thomas Gale, Treasurer; David St. Clair, Recorder; Jacob 
Vandevanter, Edmund Littlefield and Arthur Barrows, Commissioners. 

The first term of Circuit Court convened on the 22d day of October, 
1832, at the home of Moses Rice. Court was called in the open air, at a con- 
venient place between two hay stacks, and then moved into the house. The 
presiding Judge was Hon. Charles H. Test, who then filled the Sixth Circuit 
and is now a resident of the city of Indianapolis. Joshua T. Hobbs, the first 
Clerk-elect, presented his commission at this term, and was qualified as Clerk. 
The SheriS"-elect, not having qualified, and Nehemiah Coldren, the Sheriff" by 
appointment of the Governor, being absent, Jesse Harding, the Coroner-elect, 
was qualified, and took his place as Sheriff", brought into court the first Grand 
Jury ever assembled in the county, and was the first to make the prairies echo 
with the cry " Hear ye, hear ye, this Honorable La Grange Circuit Court is now 
in session." 

The names of the Grand Jurymen were : Ebenezer Fish, Ami Lawrence, 
William Thrall, Isaac Wolgamott, Samuel Fish, Oliver Closson, Jonathan 
Gardner, Benjamin Gale, Samuel Anderson, William A. McNeal and Richard 
Northrop, who when sworn, the record says "retired to consult of their busi- 
ness." Luther Newton and Ephraim Seeley, presented their commissions as 
Associate Judges, who, after being qualified, took their seats with the Presiding 
Judge. Neal McGaff", of White Pigeon, and Samuel C. Sample, from St. Jo- 
seph County, were admitted as attorneys and counselors at the bar, ex gracio^ 
for that term. Joseph Kerr and Daniel Harding were appointed bailiff's. S. 
C. Sample was afterward appointed Prosecuting Attorney in place of William 
J. Brown, the regular prosecutor, who was reported absent on account of sick- 

But two cases were presented for trial, both of which were continued. 
Moses Hill presented a petition of ad quod damnum. The writ was granted to 
be returned at the next term. Daniel Fox, Frederick Hamilton, Thomas P. 
Burnell, William liCgg and Samuel Burnell, all from " old England," made 
application, to make oath of their intention to become citizens of the United 
States. The only record of allowance at this term of the court, is that to 
bailiff's, of $3 each. 


The first Grand Jury chosen by the Commissioners, of which we have 
record, was for the May term, 1834, of the Circuit Court, and consisted of the 
following persons : Thomas Gale, Otis Newman, John Jewett, Nehemiah Col- 
dren, Jonathan Gardner, John Langdon, Micayah Harding, Robert Latta, 
Samuel Fish, Spencer Fish, Samuel Robinson, Isaac Wolgamott, Samuel An- 
derson, George Egneu, Ami Lawrence, James Hostetter and John B. Clark. 

The second term of the Circuit Court was held at the house of Moses Rice, 
commencing on the 13th day of May, 1833. Presiding Judge, Hon. Gustavus 
Everts ; Clerk, Joshua T. Hobbs ; Sheriff, William Thrall ; Prosecutor, John 
B. Chapman. Charles W. Ewing, Jonathan A. Liston, David H. Colerick, 
Samuel W. Parker, Joseph E. Jernegan, and Neal McGaifey were admitted, 
ex gracio, to practice at the bar at this term. The proceedings of this term 
make up a record of some twenty pages. Cases of assault and battery, riot 
and violation of the liquor license law were largely in the majority. One of 
the State cases was that of an indictment against a woman for retailing liquors 
contrary to law, on which she was found guilty and was mulcted in a fine of ^2. 
The State cases entered on the docket, during the first three years after the or- 
ganization of the county, numbered about eighty, and are almost equal in num- 
ber with the State cases of the present time. 

The first resident lawyer of the La Grange bar was John B. Howe. Mr. 
Howe was admitted in 1834, and had for associates at the bar, in addition to 
those before mentioned, Samuel C. Sample, Charles W. Ewing, Henry Cooper, 
Thomas Johnson, and afterward William H. Combs. 

Mr. Howe says of these: '"They were thoroughly-read lawyers ;" and 
continues : " John B. Chapman, the author of the Bufi*alo & Mississippi charter 
for a railroad running along the northern border of the State, was then Prose- 
cuting Attorney. Gustavus A. Everts was Presiding Judge of the Court when 
I was admitted to the bar, at the spring term, 1834. I had applied at the fall 
term previous, and was examined by Cooper and Jernegan. I failed of admis- 
sion upon their report, because I failed in some answers to some of the most 
technical questions upon that, in some aspects, most technical of all subjects, 
the statute of uses. I brought myself to the required standard by six months' 
longer study, during a portion of which time I was keeping school. 

'' The system of pleading at that time in use was that which prevails under 
the common law, and the practice of the High Court of Chancery in England ; 
and to show in a few words how readily all parts of the social system, even to 
pleading and practice in court, and conveyancing, adapt themselves to actual 
conditions, the common law pleading, with the exception of declarations and 
bills in chancery, including pleas, replications, rejoinders, rebutters, and, if 
need be, surrebutters, were for the most part drawn up and signed during 
court, and to a considerable extent in the court house. The true science of 
law is everywhere substantially the same, and the pleading and practice are 
only the machinery by which exact justice is done or attempted. Some injus- 


tice has undoubtedly been administered temporarily and unintentionally, in the 
use of some of the present simplified modes of pleading and practice, by adher- 
ing to that technicality, which was complained of in the administration of the 
old, the new forming no exception to the rule, that it takes time to establish 
and settle innovations of any kind, in whatever part of the social system they 
are introduced. Of all the old members of the bar, to whom I have referred, I 
fail to remember one who either was, or ever became, a politician, in the tech- 
nical sense. I came nearer than any other, except Colerick, who was a mem- 
ber of the General Assembly twice or more, I believe, being a member of the 
Senate at least one term. I was a member of the House of Representatives of 
the General Assembly in the " Harrison " year, 1840-41, and of the Consti- 
tutional Convention in 3 850." 1427967 

The Circuit Court President Judges, from the fii'st organization of the 
county, in 1832, have been Charles H. Test, now of Indianapolis, commencing 
October, 1832 ; Gustavus A. Everts, commencing May term, 1833 ; S. C. 
Sample, commencing September term, 1836 ; Charles W. Ewing, commencing 
May term, 1837 ; John W. Wright, commencing April term, 1840 ; James 
Borden, commencing April term, 1842 ; Elza MoMahon, commencing Septem- 
ber term, 1851 ; James L. Worden, now of Fort Wayne, commencing October 
term, 1855 ; Reuben J. Dawson, commencing March term, 1857 ; Edward R. 
Wilson, commencing March term, 1800; Robert Lowry, now of Fort Wayne, 
commencing March term, 1865; Hiram Tousley, commencing March term, 
1867 ; James D, Osborne, commencing, by appointment, March term, 1875 ; 
William A. W^oods, commencing December term, 1873. Judge Woods was 
elected to the Supreme Court of the State in 1880, and resigned his position as 
Judge of the Thirty-fourth Judicial Circuit. James D. Osborne, of Goshen* 
was appointed by the Governor to the vacancy, December, 1880. 

Until the adoption of the new Constitution, each Circuit Judge had seated 
with him on the bench, two Associate Judges elected by the people of the 
county. These Associate Judges up to this time were Luther A. Newton, 
1832; Ephriam Sceley, 1832; Thomas Spaulding, 1839; Samuel Wescott, 
1839; Amos Davis, 1844, and Joshua T. Hobbs, 1844. 

Separate Probate Courts were also held under the old Constitution, but 
when the new Constitution went into effect in 1852, all this class of business 
was transferred to the Common Pleas Court, a new court then established. 
The Probate Judges were Elias B. Smith and William S. Prentiss. The Com- 
mon Pleas Judges were Joseph H. Mather and E. W. Metcalf, of Elkhart 
County, and William M. Clapp, of Noble County. This court was abolished 
in 1873, and all its business transferred to the Circuit Court. 

Another item furnished by the early records is that the first marriage 
license issued in the county was July 25, 1832, to join together in the holy 
bonds of matrimony, Lewis D. Parish and Elizabeth Cook. Six marriage 
licenses were issued in 1833, twenty in 1834, and thirty-six in 1835. For the 


last few years, the average has been about one hundred and twenty. Many 
connubial knots were tied over the line, in Michigan, in an early day, and the 
custom is not, by any means, yet abandoned. 

The first application for divorce was made at the October term, 1839, but 
the cause was continued, and several terms thereafter dismissed. The first 
divorce granted was in 1840. 

The first murder trial in the county was occasioned by an assault of a party 
of young men, of Clay Township, upon Jacob Bean and some members of his 
family, in December, 1861. In the melee, Jacob Bean was struck down and 
his neck broken. Three persons were indicted, but only one, Hiram Springer, 
found guilty, and he of manslaughter. He was sentenced to two years' impris- 
onment, but was relieved by the decision of the Supreme Court on a technical 
fault in the records. This was in " war times," and the proceedings were 
nolle prosequied, and the accused endeavored to repair his record by gallant 
service at the front. 

The most famous trial in the county was that of Stephen Jenks, for the 
murder of George Mallow, of Ontario, which was commenced in September, 
1870, and concluded at a special term in December, 1870. The attorneys engaged 
were James McGrew, Prosecuting Attorney, assisted by Andrew Ellison, for the 
State; and for the defense, Joseph D. Ferrall and John Morris, of Fort Wayne. 
The trial lasted fourteen days, and during the entire time the court room was 
densely crowded, and excitement at a high pitch. The prisoner, during the 
trial, was quiet and undemonstrative, apparently taking little interest in the 
proceedings. This trial was the first one in the county in which the defense of 
insanity was made. 

The defense of insanity, however applicable it may have been to Jenks, 
was very distasteful to the people of the county, who had just felt an indignant 
interest in the acquittal of McFarland, the murderer of the famous war corre- 
spondent of the New York Tribune^ Albert D. Richardson. It was felt that it 
was an attempt to reproduce sharp New York criminal practice into a country 
where justice was yet dear. The sentiment of the people was well expressed 
by the following editorial remarks in the Standard: 

" The advocates of paroxysmal insanity, as a defense against the charge 
of premeditated murder, may congratulate themselves on having a local illus- 
tration of the beauties of their doctrine in the murder of George Mallow. 
This heartless transaction, which has chilled the blood of our community by 
the heinousness of the offense, is nothing more than a natural outgrowth of 
those pernicious teachings which seek to establish the doctrine that a man may 
take the life of his fellow, while laboring under the impression that he has been 
wronged, and that his angered and excited feelings shall be taken as an apology 
for the crime. * * * It is high time that cracked-brained the- 
orists on the laws of insanity, who seek to make their doctrines applicable to a 
defense in a case of murder, had a practical illustration of the dangerous 


nature of their teachings. The world is well stocked with moralizing fools that 
the community could get along without." 

After a hotly contested trial, the jury took the case and struggled with it 
several hours, and then brought in a verdict of guilty, and fixed the penalty at 
imprisonment for life. A severer penalty was not expected, a^ the impression 
prevailed that a La Grange County jury would not sentence to death. Public 
opinion generally acquiesced in this result, although a considerable number gave 
credence to the defense of insanity. The case was appealed to the Supreme 
Court, and the judgment reversed on the ground of the refusal of the lower 
court to continue the case for the introduction of further evidence for the de- 

Before the case was retried, Jenks escaped from jail, and was not found 
again until 1877, when he was discovered quietly working in a Michigan vil- 
lage, near Saginaw. Another trial, upon a change of venue, was then had in 
Elkhart County, and the same sentence imposed; after which, further defense 
was abandoned, and Jenks was taken to the penitentiary, at Michigan City, 
where he still remains. 

The next important criminal trial was of Chauncy Barnes, for the. murder 
of Addie Dwight. On account of the social position of the parents of the 
parties to this tragedy, and the mournfully romantic circumstances attending 
this sad murder of a young, beautiful and virtuous lady, a great interest was 
taken in the trial. A special term of court in December, 1871, was devoted 
to this case, which occupied four days. A considerable number of witnesses 
were called in, and a hotly contested trial resulted. The defense was insanity, 
as in the previous trial, and the verdict was also identical ; but the defense was 
content with saving the life of the young man, and the sentence went into im- 
mediate effect. These cases were the most exciting which were tried in the old 
frame court house, and were probably the occasion of the greatest display of 
legal acuteness and forensic eloquence in the history of the county. Judge 
Hiram S. Tousley occupied the bench during the first trial of Jenks and at the 
Barnes trial, and his rulings were generally accepted as well intended and im- 

Public buildings were, of course, a necessity at once, and a two-story frame 
building was soon erected at Lima, in which to hold the scales of justice be- 
tween the early settlers. But as soon as the central and southern parts of the 
county began to emerge from the status of a wilderness, and become settled, the 
location of the county seat became the dominant local question. Lima, it was 
argued, though it could not be excelled in its location as the site of a promising 
town, was not central enough for the county seat. The question was carried 
into the Legislature, and, at first, Lima seemed to have the advantage; but, af- 
terward seeing that the contention would be productive of much ill-feeling, and 
that the question would never be settled, even if temporarily gained for her side, 
Lima finally abandoned the strife, and the geographical center was harmonious- 


ly agreed upon for the county seat. That spot was found in a hilly, swampy 
spot on Fly Creek, covered with a heavy forest and partly with a luxurious 
growth of blackberry brambles, which it required many years to exterminate. 
There the town of La Grange was laid out. Two land-owners, Joshua T. 
Hobbs and Reuben J. Dawson, were materially benefited by this creation of a 
new town. They were not, however, ungrateful for the favor, but manifested 
their appreciation of the new state of things by the donation of grounds for a 
public square. On this a substantial and, for its day and place, a really fine 
building, of two stories, was erected in 1843 for the use of the public offices 
and court. It was a commodious building in its day, but it is estimated that it 
would only comfortably fill the court room in the present court house. A jail 
was soon after erected, which long remained a picturesque, though not a very 
secure, abode for the misdoers of the county. The jail proper was built of 
logs, and, in addition to the iron-barred doors and windows, there was, for se- 
curity, a high board fence put around the cell windows. This primitive house 
of refuge was used for thirty years, although toward the last, prisoners of 
any importance were taken to other counties, and the jail became also, on ac- 
count of its unhealthfulness, no longer tenable. A new jail was ordered by 
the Board of Commissioners February 2, 1872, and W. H. Croker, of Grand 
Rapids, Mich., was employed as architect. The contract for building was let 
to Messrs. Brace & Reed, of Kendallville, March 12, 1872, and the house was 
completed and occupied in February, 1873. The Sheriflf's residence part is two 
stories in height, and the jail part one story above basement. The foundations 
are laid with bowlder stone, and the walls above of brick, the outside side wall 
being white pressed brick manufactured at Grand Rapids, Mich. The jail part 
is well cased inside with iron, and so constructed as to make escape for prisoners 
about impossible. The first cost of the building was about $29,000. Since 
then improvements have been made in drainage, and otherwise, to the extent of 
some $600. 

The first court house was built at Lima in 1833; the second at La Grange 
1843; the third was determined upon by the County Commissioners at their 
September term, 1877. The two first were wooden structures, of temporary 
build, without vaults or facilities for safety or convenience. The latter was to 
be permanent in structure and in style and convenience in unison with the day 
of improvements. Mr. A. J. Smith, of Chicago, was first engaged as archi- 
tect, but a difference arising between him and the Commissioners, his engage- 
jnent was dissolved and Messrs. T. J. Tolan & Son, of Fort Wayne, were em- 
ployed. The general outline of plan for the building, prepared by the Auditor, 
Samuel Shepardson, and the Clerk, Samuel P. Bradford, and adopted by the 
Commissioners, was then placed in their hands. The details of plan and the 
specifications were then drawn up by the architects, and contractors advertised 
for to put in bids for the construction of the building April 24, 1878. The 
bids, in sealed envelopes, were handed in and when opened were found to be as 


follows: W. H. Myers, Fort Wayne, $53,000; 0. D. Hurd, Fort Wayne, 
$48,365; Crane, Duncan & Co., Waterloo, $54,690; M. D. Brennemen & Co., 
Huntington, $54,529; John L. Farr & Co., Grand Rapids, $58,000; J. W. 
Hinkley, Indianapolis, $59,900; James E. Shover, $59,700; Charles Bosse- 
ker and John Begue, Fort Wayne, $46,700 ; R. W. Ostrander and D. 0. Porter, 
Kalamazoo, $48,898.52; Brace, Reed & Ruick, Eendallville and La Grange, 
$48,758. The Commissioners being satisfactorily assured that Messrs. Bosse- 
ker & Begue, the lowest bidders, were responsible, and satisfied with the 
bond of $30,000 offered by them, that the work should be done in accordance 
with the plans and specifications, their bid and bond were accepted and the 
work at once commenced. The Commissioners, in addition to requiring the 
architects to act as general superintendents of the work, appointed Samuel P. 
Bradford local superintendent, his duty being faithfully to enforce all the 
conditions of the contract, to inspect all materials and work, to make estimates 
for the contractors of the amount due them on the contract for materials and 
work, and in no case to estimate any objectionable materials or work. The 
work was then taken hold of and pushed satisfactorily, materials gathered, foun- 
dations put in, and on the 15th of August, 1878, some two thousand citizens, 
pursuant to an invitation of the Commissioners, met to witness the laying of 
the corner-stone. The ceremonies were simple and without religious formality 
and civic display, short speeches, music by Odell's Martial Band, the Lima 
Silver Band, depositing a box in the corner-stone, the placing of the stone and 
several rounds of cheers, constituting the whole procedure. Rev. John Paul 
Jones, then County Recorder, presided. Hon. John B. Howe spoke briefly. 
He thought he was probably the only one present who settled in the county as 
early as 1833; but upon calling for others to raise their hands, if any were 
present, nearly a dozen hands flew up. He then refei'red to his early life in 
the county, as a law student, admittance to the bar, early law associates and 
the first court house. The changes that had since occurred were most remark- 
able. The progress seemed to have been almost too rapid. Few things, he 
said, could show a sharper contrast of the ability and disposition of the people 
now and then, than the court house first erected and the one the corner-stone 
of which was now to be laid. The cost of the new building would be as much 
as the whole county was then worth. He did not believe in very expensive and 
ornamental court houses. They should be like justice itself, simple and unos- 
tentatious. .But it was the fashion now to build expensive public buildings, 
and the people could not endure being out of fashion and away behind their 
neighbors. He was willing to pay his part and only referred to cost as a matter 
of contrast. 

Andrew Ellison, the next oldest member of the bar, next addressed the 
meeting. He had been a member of the La Grange County bar, he said, thirty- 
six years, and his record as a lawyer was scattered through the records of the 
court all through that period, and he was willing to stand by the record 


made. Then, taking for his subject, "The Court House — what it has been, is 
now, and its future," he spoke at some length, the substance only of which was 
preserved. The word court house, he said, was distinctly an American phrase. 
The house should be simple, but in size and construction should be distinguish- 
able from all others in the community. Then, reviewing in outline the admin- 
istration of justice through the means of the court house in England, from the 
days of its conquest by Caesar to the present, he demonstrated that the court 
house was the corner-stone upon which England built. The mode it adopted of 
settling differences between citizens, of protecting person and property, which 
gave rise and necessity for public temples of justice, had banished its former bar- 
barism and developed a people superior to all others in physical, intellectual 
and moral power, on the face of the earth, except possibly the American peo- 
ple Our jurisprudence was derived wholly from England's, and it had likewise 
been to us what it has been to the mother country. The court house, the mili- 
tary, or the mob must rule. The administration of justice was expensive, but 
it was immensely cheaper, and gave better protection to life and property. The 
mob at Pittsburgh, in one hour, last year, destroyed more than enough to run 
all the courts in the United States, National, State and county, for one year. 
The law of the court house says to the young man, buy your land, develop all 
you can out of it and I will protect your title and the proceeds of your hard 
toil. The administration of justice was by no means perfect, and with humanity 
as frail as it is, could never be, but it was the best system for adjusting differ- 
ences between man and man, and of protecting life and property, ever devised. 
It is the poor man's fortress ; without its protection there could be no incentive 
to industry or provision for the wants and comforts of home. Though there 
had been no religious ceremonies on this occasion, every stone of a court house 
rested upon the Christian religion. Our laws were based upon the laws of God. 
All writers upon law recognized this fact. The more our laws and their admin- 
istration were in harmony with God's laws, the safer would it be for the people, 
and the greater their prosperity in all that contributes to happiness here and 
favor in the sight of the Almighty. 

The contents of the copper box, placed in the cavity of the corner-stone, 
were read by Samuel P. Bradford, and were as follows : 

Copy of Acts of 1832, containing act organizing the county ; copy of Bar 
Docket of April term, 1878, Circuit Court; copy of La Grange County Direc- 
tory ; copy of the Daily Service (a camp-meeting paper) ; copy of the La Grange 
Standard, Centennial issue, and issue of the day ; copy of the La Grange Reg- 
ister, August 15, 1878 ; copy of Wolcottville G-azette, August 9, 1878 ; copy 
of application of Farmers' Rescue Insurance Company ; piece of three-cent 
scrip ; six Confederate postage stamps, found in rebel camp in Virginia ; 
pieces of 10, 25 and 5 cent scrip, different issues; names of members of Lima 
Silver Band; names of officers of incorporated town of<La Grange; manual 
of the common schools of La Grange County; coin dated 1771 ; 25-cent silver 


United States coin, 1877 ; 40-cent silver coin, United States coin, 183-4 ; silver 
coin dated 1774 ; two pieces of scrip, private issue ; Swiss medal ; photograph 
copy of Neiu England Chronicle and Gazette^ 1775 ; premium list of La- 
Grange County Agricultural Society ; copy of School Law and Acts of 1877. 

After the box was placed, Judge William A. Woods, Judge of the Thirty- 
fourth Judicial Circuit, and ex officio Judge of the La Grange Circuit Court, 
being introduced, made some complimentary and facetious allusions to the 
previous speaker, and then referred at some length to the practical questions 
connected with the administration of justice. The law, he said, is divided into 
two grand departments, that which protects the person, and that which protects 
property. In a state of barbarism, the first predominated, and in advanced 
civilization the latter. The major part of the works of courts now was in 
r.ispect to questions involving the right of property, and for that reason he 
believed that property should pay the expenses of courts, and that poll taxes 
should be abolished or made very light. Two days' work a year on roads and 
a poll tax were too much of a levy upon the mere person. He placed the court 
house beside the schoolhouse, the church and the family circle, and paid a 
tribute to the homes of the people. The virtues inculcated in the family circle 
were, after all, the greatest protection of the people as a whole. 

The tackling was then adjusted to the cap stone, and, guided by Judge 
Woods' hands, it was placed in position, after which cheers were given for the 
court house, the speakers, the contractors and the laborers. The President of 
the day, Mr. Jones, now made some remarks, referring to the past, congratu- 
lating the people upon the great changes, saying he felt it one of the proudest 
occasions of his life to preside at such a meeting of his fellow-citizens, and 
invoked the divine blessing upon the work commenced, and upon the use to 
which the building when completed would be devoted. The inscriptions upon 

the corner-stone are as follows : 

(Eist Face.) 

Corner Stone 

Laid with Public Ceremonies 

August 15, A. D. 1878. 

County Organized 

May 14, A. D. 1832. 

Jacob Vandevanter, 

Edmund Littlefield, 

Arthur Barrows, 

First Commissioners. 

.Joshua T. Hobbs, 

First Clerk. 

County Seat Located at Lima, 

A. D. 1832. 

Removed to La Grange, 

A. D. 1844. 

First Term of Court Held 

October 22, A. D. 1832. 

(North Face.) 


La Grange County, 

Hezekiah Davis, 
Alanson Blackmun, 
George W. Edgcomb, 


Samuel Shepardson, 


T. J. Tolan & Son, 


S. P. Bradford, 

Local Superintendent. 

Bosseker & Begue, 

Completed, 18 — . 

The work on the house progressed without material interruption until 
March, 1879, when the contractors complained they were losing money, and 
Avere becoming financially embarrassed. The matter was finally adjusted on the 
basis of the appointment of Andrew Ellison on the part of the contractors, as 
their agent, to receive and pay out the money on the contract in their behalf, 
and that the Commissioners should have the right to control the employment of 
labor and the purchase of all materials (not then covered by sub -con tracts) 
required to complete the building, the county to pay for all materials and labor 
in excess of contract price, that would be necessarily required to fully complete 
the house. 

The work now progressed again, the work completed and house taken 
possession of by the county November 13, 1879. 

The size of the building is sixty-four feet eight inches by one hundred feet 
eight inches, with two stories above basement, and a tower built from basement 
up centrally through the building, and reaching 125 feet from grade to top of 
finial ; the first story is thirteen feet in height, and the floor divided centrally 
east and west by a hall twelve feet in width;, from this hall a stairway, in the 
dome part, leads from either side of the hall to the hall above, and another 
from either side to the basement below. On the south side of the hall are the 
Clerk's office. Clerk's vault. Recorder's vault. Recorder's office and Sherifi"'& 
office. On the north side, the Tax-payer's room, the Treasurer's office. Treas- 
urer's vault, Auditor's vault. Auditor's office and Commissioners' room. 

The second story is fifteen feet in height. On the second floor, fronting 
the east, is the court room, fifty-seven feet three inches, by twenty-four 
feet three and one-fourth inches, and twenty feet in height. Opening into 
it, at the southwest corner, is the law library, and at the northwest cor- 
ner a witness room. Double doors open into the hall-way on west side of 
the room ; this hall is same size as below, and leads to the Surveyor's office, 
two Petit Jury rooms, one Grand Jury room, County Superintendent's 
office and Janitor's room. From the Janitor's room, a stairway leads to the^ 
dome above. In the dome are three floors. On the first, the clock room, on 
the second, the bell room, and on the third, the dial room. 


In the basement are four vaults, and rooms corresponding in size with 
those on the first floor. 

The foundation is laid in concrete, with tiling two feet out from footing-stone 
and four inches below ; this tiling connects with a drain that runs into Fly 
Creek. The footing-stone are limestone rock from six to ten feet in width, 
and are laid in a floating coat of mortar on the concrete, all points thoroughly 
filled with cement. The foundation walls built on the footing-stone are of 
bowlder stone, all split, and above grade rock faced with quarter, half-rounded, 
sunk -joint, pointed with white putty mortar. The walls above the foundation 
are all of brick, the outside being of a superior quality of pressed brick made at 
Porter Station, Ind., and the inside and partition walls of common red brick, 
manufactured mainly at Fort Wayne, but partly in this county. The pressed 
brick are all laid in putty mortar, with smooth-pointed joint. 

The water-table at grade-line, the sills and caps of all the doors and windows 
are of cut limestone, from Joliet, 111. The beams, bars and trusses, for floors 
and ceilings, and the rafters of the roof are of wrought iron, the ceilings of 
corrugated iron, the outside moldings of galvanized iron, with all ornaments 
made of pressed zinc. The roof is of the best quality of black slate, 14 inches 
wide by 2 feet long, nailed with copper nails. The floors in the rooms are 
of oak wood, and in the main halls, of the best quality of black and white mar- 
ble tile. The plastering is three-coat work, with the beat of material. The fin- 
ishing work is all in walnut and ash alternately. The court room is also quite 
handsomely frescoed. The whole building is practically fire-proof. The vaults 
are absolutely so. All the rooms are supplied with water, furnished by pipes 
leading from a wind-mill tank on the jail lot; the heating is by stoves, though 
the building is constructed for furnace heating, should it ever be desired. A 
cut elsewhere will give a general view — outside view — of the structure. The 
total cost of the building, as reported in Auditor's annual statement for 1880, 
is as follows : 

Miscellaneous expenses $ 3,830 01 

Extra sub-foundation 966 85 

Paid T. J. Tolan & Son, architects 1,144 00 

Paid Commissioners, for extra sessions 233 50 

Paid contractors, Messrs. Bosseker & Begue 47,445 30 

Paid in excess of contract 7,879 00 

Total $61,498 66 

The total cost to tax-payers, for improvements upon Court House 
Square, from September 1, 1877, to June 5, 1880, is as follows : 

New Court House $61,498 66 

Tower clock and bell 1,517 45 

Furniture for new Court House 3,735 07 

Real estate purchased (west part of Court House Square) 4,127 13 

Grading court yard 797 01 

Total cost $71,675 32 


The next season the public square was inclosed with an iron fence, costing 
about $2,500, making the total cost of the erection of the building, the furnish- 
ing, extension of the public square, grading and fencing, less than $75,000. 
The whole was paid for as fast as the work was done, the county neither bor- 
rowing nor owing a dollar after its completion. The county is now supplied with 
public buildings good enough for a century to come, and without a dollar of 
indebtedness to carry. 

The learned professions should occupy a good share of the history, if all 
that they have done toward the development of the present social life were pos- 
sible to be grasped and treated of. But a slight sketch of the history of these 
classes of our citizens can at least be given. Of the bar, that very important 
factor in modern life, that " necessary evil," as some of our worthy people re- 
gard it, that praiseworthy band of students and advisors, as many of those out- 
side the bar concur with those inside in regarding the legal fraternity — of the 
bar little can be said except in praise. Its early members have already been 
mentioned. At that time a rigid requirement of examinations before admission, 
of which a hint is given in Mr. Howe's reminiscences, had a tendency to make 
the bar more exclusive than at the present day, and no doubt its members were 
prouder of their associations or had more reason to be, on the side of legal cult- 
ure than an Indiana lawyer of the present day can be, when any one can be 
admitted to the bar on motion. The requirements, which Avere really too 
rigid in those days, might, with great profit, be the requirements of to-day. 
But La Grange County has fairly ranked with the neighboring counties in the 
legal repute of its attorneys. Mr. John B. Howe, a gentleman of culture, and 
an earnest student, even in his later years, of social problems, soon took the 
front in the La Grange bar, and among the lawyers of the State. His argument 
in the Constitutional Convention, on the declaration of rights, is yet referred 
to as among the wisest and ablest utterances in that convention. 

Ranking next with him in local repute, as a lawyer, was Andrew Ellison. 
He became distinguished for the pertinacity and energy with which he fought 
his cases, never yielding when he thought he had any footing until the case was 
won or the highest tribunal had decided against him. During the Regulator 
period, when the courts had their greatest flood of business, he was employed 
as the attorney for several of the indicted horse-thieves and counterfeiters, and 
with the whole community against him, he, with his characteristic persistence 
and defiance of public sentiment, fought the cases through, and got most of his 
clients either acquitted or released upon some technicality after conviction. The 
bitterness engendered during these exciting times lasted many years and marred 
the happiness of many. Mr. Ellison, after enjoying for many years the hon- 
orable position of senior member of the bar, retired from practice, as his old 
friend, Mr. Howe, had done, to pursue the quieter pursuit of banking. 

Among others who won some notoriety, was James M. Flagg, of Lima, 
who was for many years at the bar, and noted for his acuteness and sharp tricks 


with his professional brethren, and those who were unprofessional and unsophis- 
ticated. His practice soon reached such a stage that he was compelled to give 
it a new field by going further west and establishing himself at Chicago. 

Joseph B. Wade, who has been from childhood a resident of the county, was 
admitted to the bar in 1857, and is still practicing. Robert Parrett moved to 
the county previous to 1860, and was gaining an enviable reputation as an 
attorney, when the war broke out and he fell, one of its early victims, with the 
rank of Major in the One Hundredth Indiana Volunteers. Joseph W. Cummings, 
a native of the county, was admitted a little later. He removed to Toledo, where 
he has taken first rank professionally and as a citizen. A. B. Kennedy was 
one of the ante-Avar attorneys and enjoyed for many years a prominent position 
at the bar, especially in probate matters. He died from overwork. Resolutions 
of respect were made by the bar at a meeting held in his memory. 

Joseph D. Ferrall began practice in La Grange in 1865, and has 
since gained a prominent position at the bars of this and neighboring 
counties. W. C. Glasgow was admitted about the same time, and held 
for some years the position of Prosecuting Attorney, and now stands in 
the front rank. George A. Cutting, admitted about 1870, was winning 
a high position as a lawyer wh^n he died from consumption, which had 
long been hampering him, in 1881. The remaining attorneys, who have prac- 
ticed of late years, are Abner S. Case, John P. Jones (both formerly County 
Clerks), Cyrus U. Wade (formerly Prosecuting Attorney), Francis D. Merritt, 
James S. Drake (now Prosecutor), Otis L. Ballou (now Master Commissioner), 
Samuel P. Bradford (now Clerk), E. T. Cosper and Edgar McClasky. Some 
of the attorneys of neighboring counties, who have in past years or do now prac- 
tice extensively at the La Grange bar, are Judge John Morris, Hon. John H. 
Baker, Judge W. A. Woods, Isaac E. Knisely, Augustus A. Chapin and James 
I. Best. 

The office of Prosecuting Attorney, in the districts of which this county has 
been a part, has been filled by members of the La Grange bar, as follows : By 
Joseph D. Ferrall, from 1866 to 1868 ; Wesley C. Glasgow, from 1873 to 1877 ; 
Cyrus U. Wade, from 1877 to 1879 ; James S. Drake, from 1879 to the pres- 
ent, his second term expiring 1883. 

In the first settlement of a new country, the physician is a first necessity. 
And there are always among the pioneer physicians those who have a real or 
imaginary' ability to treat successfully all cases that may fall under their care. 
The habits of the pioneers being simple, and having plenty of food, fresh air, 
keeping good hours, with exercise in abundance, the diseases are also of sim- 
ple character, yielding, generally, readily to the most ordinary remedies. Tu- 
bercular diseases, now so common in our county, were unknown for ten years 
after the first settlement. Some of the early settlers report that intermittent 
fevers were unknown to them for some five years, and were only developed after 
considerable quantities of land were broken up. Dr. Hill was the first in the 


county who claimed to be a physician. He came in with the immigrants of 1828 
or 1829. The Doctor professed to be a " regular " in practice, but having con- 
fidence in the flora of the woods, he confined himself to the simple remedies that 
he found in abundance around him. He is said to have filled his saddle-bags 
with roots and herbs without a cent of expenditure ; to have traversed the coun- 
try between St. Joseph in Michigan, and Fort Wayne, Ind., staying with the 
sick whenever he found them until they recovered or died. Quinine, or the 
preparations of Peruvian bark, he never used, depending upon the use of the 
bark of dogwood and ironwood to break the intermittents, and he claimed that 
the ague broken by these remedies was less apt to return than when treated by 
quinine and the Peruvian barks. His cathartic and alterative calico-root grew 
on the edges of the marshes, and wild turnip, and blood-root, his specific for 
pneumonia, were found abundant in the woods. He claimed to have never bled 
his pneumonia cases, and that he scarcely ever lost a case. This happy result, 
in this class of cases, if true, was just the reverse of that resulting from the 
bleeding and reducing remedies then in vogue among the regular practitioners. 
Obstetrical practice was confined to certain old ladies, and as tedious and pro- 
tracted labors in hearty and robust persons leading an active life were rare, they 
had little or no trouble. One of these old ladies reported that, in a protracted 
labor occurring in the family of one of the first settlers. Dr. Hill was sent for, 
and after many weary hours had passed, he concluded that artificial means were 
necessary to save the mother, and attempted to perforate the skull of the child, 
but failing, went ofi" to a neighboring house to prepare a more efficient instru- 
ment. While he was gone, nature rallied to her task, and when the Doctor 
returned, he found the child ushered into the world all right, except that its 
scalp hung in shreds from the effects of his attempts at perforation. The old 
gentleman was amazed, and remarked that that boy was the hardest-headed lit- 
tle devil he ever saw, for he had not strength enough to perforate its skull. 
The boy survived and the unobliterated scars were seen by living physicians in 
his manhood. 

Dr. J. T, Hobbs came about 1830, and Dr. Hill relinquished the field to 
him. He at once took nearly the whole practice in this and the adjoining 
counties. The Doctor was a native of Maryland, a graduate of Bowdoin in 
Maine, and a real gentleman. His wife was an intelligent woman of strong 
character, and materially assisted him in laying the foundation of a large fort- 
une. The Doctor was elected the first Clerk of the county, the office of which 
was then at Lima. His wife attended mainly to the duties of the office, leaving 
him free to attend to his practice and his other growing interests. She bore 
bira two children, the oldest of which died some ten or twelve years ago. 
The younger daughter still survives, and is the wife of Dr. S. H. Bassinger, 
another pioneer physician. Dr. Hobbs' health failing him, he left the county 
about 1850, moved to Mount Vernon, Ohio, -and subsequently to Sandusky, 
where he died a few years since, leaving a large fortune, the executors of which 


are Mr. S. K. Ruick and Henry L. Taylor, of this county. Among the medi- 
cal pioneers was Dr. James Chapman, still remembered by some as wandering 
around on an old pony in a saddle with rope girth and rope stirrup straps, and 
the inevitable saddle-bags. The Doctor was a native of Connecticut, and 
claimed to be a regular physician, was a stanch Presbyterian, and was down 
on all innovations in medicine or theology. At that time, there was a man who 
practiced as a Thompsonian, and was to Dr. Chapman a great eye-sore. The 
latter used to relate many anecdotes of the collisions between calomel and 
jalap vs. No. 6. The Doctor broke down mentally, gave up the practice of 
medicine, but carried around with him religious books and tracts, pitied but 
respected by all. A commission was appointed to take measures for the pro- 
tection of his pi'operty. He said it was a commission "de enquircndo lunatico," 
and that they brought him in insane on all points except theology and medicine. 

Dr. J. Bolton Smith came to Lima in 1832. He was a gentleman of the 
Old School, wore the ruffled linen in fashion in the early part of the century, 
and preserved the dignity of the profession. For a time before he left, he gave 
up his profession of medicine and took up the practice of law. An anecdote is 
told of him that he acted as Justice of the Peace in the trial of a case, and, as 
it was of some importance, he called Squire Littlefield to assist him in the case. 
The oath he administered the witnesses was after this form : " In the presence 
of God and of Edmund Littlefield you do solemnly swear to tell the truth," 
etc. The Doctor finally went to St. Louis, where he died of cholera in 1842. 
At the same time he was at Lima, there was there another Dr. Smith, who, 
making much pretension to phrenology, was distinguished from the other 
Smith, as Dr. Bump Smith. Both Smiths were students of Dr. Duncomb, of 
Canada, whose daughter the Dr. Bump Smith married. 

Dr. Francis Jewett catne to the county in 1834. He died in Lima in 
1857. Dr. Weeks practiced in Lima from 1835 to 1837. He is now a physi- 
cian in Chicago, and has considerable reputation in the profession. Then fol- 
lowed Dr. Palmer in 1838, whose favorite remark was that he had saved many 
a patient even after he had a predilection to pick the clothing. He left in 
1848. Dr. Parry came in 1839, and practiced in Lima for ten years, and then 
moved to California with the first emigration. When last heard from, he was 
still living there. Dr. Fox was at Lima from 1836 to 1842, when he moved to 
Wisconsin, where he stands high in his profession, and has made a handsome 
competence. Dr. Holbrook came in 1842, stood well professionally, had many 
and warm friends, but soon wearying with the hardships of his ride, he moved 
to California. He now resides at San Francisco, where he has a fine reputa- 
tion. Dr. Thompson took Dr. Holbrook's practice in 1850, married in the 
Kinney family at Lima, practiced sixteen years, and then went to Missouri, and 
was for some time surgeon and physician to the State Prison in that State. Dr. 
George Fletcher followed Dr. Thompson at Lima, and was the principal physi- 
cian there from that time until he gave up the active duties of his profession, 
and moved to Iowa some five years since. c 


Dr. Pritchard settled at Lexington in ] 843 ; he practiced there four years, 
and died of pneumonia in 1847. He was followed by Dr. Reupert in 1848. 
He entered the service in the war of the rebellion as Assistant Surgeon of the 
Thirtieth Indiana Volunteers, and died in hospital at Nashville, Tenn. 

The first physician at La Grange was Dr. Brown, who settled there in 
1842. He was a cousin of the celebrated John Brown, of Harper's Ferry 
notoriety, a gentleman and Christian, and highly esteemed by the whole com- 
munity. He died of malignant erysipelas at the Haw Patch in 1852. Dr. 
Butler, a brother-in-law of Dr. Brown, succeeded to his practice. He was a 
man of great perseverance, a warm friend and a bitter enemy, and especially 
to slavery and its advocates. He died of consumption in 1854. Dr. J. P. 
Niman, still practicing at La Grange, was invited by Dr. Butler to a partner- 
ship and assisted him and succeeded him in his practice. Dr. Thompson came 
to La Grange in 1856, and was there during the epidemic of dysentery that 
prevailed that year so extensively that hardly a family escaped, and from which 
there were a large number of deaths. 

The Sheldons, four brothers, and all practitioners of medicine, commenced 
their practice at Union Mills (now Mongo) ; B. F. and William Sheldon came 
there in 1838. In 1840, Franklin Sheldon moved to South Bend, where he 
died next year. The other three brothers did nearly the entire practice in 
the east part of the county for some twelve or fifteen years ; William died in 
1854 or 1855 of diarrhoea contracted while on a journey through Mexico ; 
Franklin is also dead. They were all men of ability and character. 

For the foregoing items in respect to the medical profession, we are 
indebted to Dr. George H. Dayton, of Lima, who settled at Ontario in 1846^ 
then a prosperous and lively place with great prospects. The Doctor is a native 
of New Jersey ; was educated at the University of New York, three years in 
the Literary Department, and studied medicine under the celebrated Dr. Val- * 
entine Mott, and afterward graduated in the Medical Department of the uni- 
versity. He has for many years stood at the head of his profession in the 
county, and is more consulted in difficult cases than any other. 

Many physicians whose names cannot now be recalled have come and 
gone. Among those who, in later years, became permanent residents and 
acquired more general acquaintance are Dr. Abner Lewis, of Haw Patch, who 
had an extensive practice in that part of the county, and afterward at La 
Grange. He served one term in the State Senate, and subsequently moved to 
Iowa, where he still resides. Dr. J. H, Dancer, of South Milford, was for many 
years, and is yet, the principal practitioner in the southeastern part of the 
county. Dr. A. M. Spaulding, of Applemanbutg, has held a like share of 
the practice in Springfield Township. In the northwestern part of the county, 
Drs. Toms & Grubs have, for a number of years, held the principal practice. 
A number of physicians have been located at Wolcottville. Dr. Leonard 
Barber was one of the earliest, if not the first, practitioner there, and, until 


his death in 1875, was the leading physician in the southern part of the 

Dr. E. M. Speed located at La Grange in April, 1856, and had an exten- 
sive practice. He was appointed Assistant Surgeon of the Forty-fourth Regi- 
ment Indiana Volunteers in July, 1864, and immediately after his arrival to 
the command at Chattanooga, Tenn., was taken sick, when he was carried to the 
Officers' Hospital on Lookout Mountain, where he died a few weeks after. Dr. 
Francis P. Griffith came to La Grange in May, 1858, and was associated for 
some time with Dr. Speed in practice. He was elected Representative to the 
Legislature in 1862 and in 1864, and has held several responsible clerkships at 
Washington, and was Census Supervisor for the northeastern counties of the 
State in 1880. He is still in practice. 

Dr. E. G. White came to the place in 1857 ; has had, and yet has, an exten- 
sive practice. He served some two years as Acting Assistant Surgeon United 
States Volunteers, in the Nashville hospitals, during the war. He has been for 
some twelve or thirteen years pension examiner for the Government. Dr. J. H. 
Rerick came to the place in 1859: entered the service in 1861, as Assistant 
Surgeon of the Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, at the organization of 
the regiment ; was promoted Surgeon, and served with the command until its 
muster out September, 1865. At the close of the war, he and Dr. White were 
associated together in practice. In 1867, he bought the La Grange Standard^ 
and entered the editorial profession ; was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court in 
1860, and in 1864, serving eight years. He is still proprietor of the Standardy 
and devoting his attention exclusively to the printing business. Dr. James Mil- 
ler practiced at La Grange a number of years, and was Assistant Surgeon in 
the Thirtieth Indiana Volunteer Regiment a short time. He moved to Iowa 
about 1879. Dr. A. Cutting moved to the town in 1864, from Ohio, and has 
frequently been employed as consulting physician. The present physicians at 
La Grange in active practice not above mentioned are Dr. William Short, Dr. 
John Short, Dr. H. M. Casebeer, Dr. Charles H. Niman, son of Dr. J. P. 
Niman, and Dr. Engle. Dr. Newton G. Eno practiced a few years at Lima ; 
was Assistant Surgeon of the Eighty-eighth Indiana Volunteers, from January, 
1863, to November, 1864, when he resigned. He is now a resident of Iowa, 
and still in practice. Dr. William Hughes came from Ohio to Lima in 1870, 
and has an extensive practice there. Dr. C. D. Goodrich also settled there a 
few years since, and is in practice. 

The county has always made ample provision for its paupers. A farm was 
first bought north of La Grange for the asylum, but this not proving a desira- 
ble location, it was sold, and 160 acres, three miles south of La Grange, were 
purchased, and suitable, though plain and inexpensive, buildings were erected. 
Here the poor, dependent on the county for support, are sent and cared for, 
except in those cases where temporary aid is needed, and can be given at home 
by the several Township Trustees. In February, 1871, there died Dr. David 


Rogers, one of the first settlers of Clearspring Township, an eccentric old man 
and bachelor, who at one time had an extensive practice as a physician. In his 
will, made in 1868, he bequeathed all his real estate in the county " to the 
Commissioners of the County of La Grange and their successors in oflSce in 
trust forever, for the use and benefit of the orphan poor and for otheip destitute 
persons of said county." The heirs of Dr. Rogers contested the will, basing 
their claim on the indefiniteness of the bequest, and carried their case to the 
Supreme Court, where the will was finally sustained. No special disposition is 
made of this fund, as yet, by the Commissioners. 

The following valuable statistics are thought to be of sufficient public inter- 
est to warrant their appearance in the history of the county : 


1836 — Van Buren, Democrat, 150 ; Harrison, Whig, 128 ; Democratic 
majority, 22. 1840 — Harrison, Whig, 391 ; Van Buren, Democratic, 225 ; 
Whig majority, 166. 1844— Clay, Whig, 598 ; Polk, Democrat, 457 ; Birney, 
Abolitionist, 38; Whig majority, 108. 1848— Cass, Democrat, 686; Taylor, 
Whig, 629 ; Van Buren, Free Soil, 114 ; Democratic plurality, 7. 1852— 
Scott, Whig, 667 ; Pierce, Democrat, 667 ; Hall, Free Soil, 117 ; tie between 
principal parties. 1856 — Fremont, Republican, 1,406 ; Buchanan, Democrat, 
640 ; Fillmore, American, 6 ; Republican majority, 760. 1860 — Lincoln. 
Republican, 1,695 ; Fusion (Democratic), 775 ; Republican majority, 920. 
1864 — Lincoln, Republican, 1,588 ; McClellan, Democrat, 796 ; Republican 
majority, 787. 1868 — Grant, Republican, 1,945; Seymour, Democrat, 1,076 ; 
Republican majority, 869. 1872 — Grant, Republican, 1,868 ; Greeley, Lib- 
eral, 830 ; Republican majority, 1,033. 1876 — Hayes, Republican, 2,205 ; 
Tilden, Democrat, 1,256 ; Peter Cooper, National, 63 ;. Republican plurality, 
949 ; Republican majority, 886. 1880— Garfield, Republican, 2,367 ; 
.Hancock, Democrat, 1,393; Weaver, National, 116; Republican, majority, 
858 ; Republican plurality, 974. 

The vote by townships at this election was as follows : 

Gakfield. Hancock. Weaver. ' 

Van Buren 102 93 34 

Newbury 153 108 

Eden 128 139 

Clearspring 208 150/ 1 

Clay 181 142 18 

Lima 248 78 11 

Creenfield 175 59 42 

Bloomfield 456 230 1 

Johnson 252 123 4 

Milford 154 200 3 

Springfield 220 71 2 

Total 2,367 1,393 116 

The vote for Governor at the October election the same year was : Por- 
ter, Republican, 2,307 ; Landers, Democrat, 1,374 ; Gregg, National, 129. 


The Legislative act, authorizing the organization of La Grange County, 
was approved by the Governor of the State February 2, 1832, and the first 
election of county officers occurred in August of the same year. The first 
term of court convened October 22, 1832, the officers of which were — Charles 
H. Test (now Judge of the Criminal Court at Indianapolis), Judge ; Luther 
Newton and Ephraim Seeley, Associate Judges ; Joshua T. Hobbs, Clerk > 
Nehemiah Coldren, Sheriff"; Joshua Harding, Coronor. The County officers 
since the first organization of the county, so far as we can trace, have been as 
follows : 

Probate Judges. — Elias B. Smith and William S. Prentiss. 

Associate Judges. — Ephraim Seeley and Luther Newton, 1832 ; Thomas J. 
Spaulding and Samuel Westcott, 1839 ; Joshua T. Hobbs and Amos Davis, 

C/gr^s.— Joshua T. Hobbs, 1832-38; William M. Holmes, 1838-45; 
Delavin Martin, 1845-46; James B. Howe, 1846-53; John P. Jones, 1853- 
61 ; Abner S. Case, 1861-68; Eugene V. Case (appointment), 1868-69; John 
H. Rerick, 1869-77; Samuel P. Bradford, 1877. 

Sheriffs.—\ Harding, 1832-35; John Brown, 1835-37; William 
Phelps, 1837; Peter L. Mason, 1837-39; Frederick Hamilton, 1839-43; 
James Rawles, 1843-47; John Briscoe, 1847-49; William Hopkins, 1849- 
53; Gabriel McEntyre, 1853-55; Zopher L. Scidmore, 1855-57; William 
Cummings, 1857-61; William Selby, 1861-65; John S. Merritt, 1865-67; 
James M. Marks, 1867-72; Thomas C. Betts, 1872-76; Nelson Stacy, 1876- 
80 ; Edwin Temple, 1880. 

Auditors.— VQtex L. Mason, 1841-45; Simon W. Cutler, 1845-52; 
Hugh Hamilton, 1852-57; L. N. Beers, 1857-58; Peter N. Wilcox, 1858- 
66; Isaiah Piatt, 1866-74; Samuel Shepardson, 1874. 

Treasurers.— Thomo,^ Gale, 1832-37; Jonathan Woodruff, 1837-44; 
Samuel Bartlett, 1844-53; Elijah W. Weir, 1853-57; Parley R. Cady, 1857- 
61 ; John W. Welch, 1861-65 ; Jacob Newman, 1865-69 ; Samuel Shepard- 
son, 1869-73; Samuel G. Hoff, 1873-77; John E. Anderson, 1877-81 ; John 
M. Preston, 1881. 

Recorders.— Ddividi St. Clair, 1832-37; J. T. Hobbs, 1837-43; John 
Kromer, 1843-55; Ozias Wright, 1855-56; Abner S. Case, 1856-60; Henry 
Nichols, 1860-68; John C. Gurnea, 1868-72; John P. Jones, 1872-80; 
Eugene V. Case, 1880. 

Commissioners. — Jacob Vandevanter, 1832 ; Edmond Littlefield, 1832; 
Arthur Barrows, 1832 ; Isaac Gage, 1833 ; J. F. Rice, 1833 ; Arthur Barrows, 
1834 ; Jesse Champlin, 1834 ; David Smith, 1834 ; William S. Prentiss, 1834; 
Palmer Grannis, 1835; James McConnell, 1836; L. M. Dewey, 1837; Shel- 
don Martin, 1837 ; Philo Taylor, 1838 ; Ira Hill, 1839 ; Palmer Grannis, 1840; 
Robert Hume, 1840; Benjamin Jones, 1840-45; Abram Rowe, 1841-44 ; 
Samuel Corey, 1843-46; Nehemiah Coldren, 1844-50; Jacob T. Grove, 


1845-57 ; Timothy Field, 1846-49 ; Sidney Keith, 1848-52 ; Hiram Taylor, 
1850-56; Andrew Ellison, 1851-53; Samuel Hudson, 1852-58; Hezekiah 
Davis, 1853-60 ; Orvin Kent, 1856-59 ; James Smith, 1858-76 ; A. J. At- 
wood, 1859-65 ; William Seaborn, 1860-66 ; Hiram Smith, 1866-67 ; R. P. 
Herbert, 1867 ; Hezekiah Davis, 1867-79 ; Almon Dickenson, 1868-75 ; A. 
Blackmun, 1875; George W. Edgcomb, 1876, Elias Wight, 1879. 

School Examiners. — County School Examiners were first appointed under 
the act of 1861. From June, 1861, the office was held by J. H. Danseur, 

George Marks, Hemenway, and Prof. R. Patch. Under the new 

school law of 1865 : 

Prof. R. Patch, 1865-67 ; Rev. A. Fitz Randolph, 1868-69 ; Rev. Will- 
iam Cathcart, 1869-70 ; S. D. Crane, 1870-71 ; A. Bayliss, 1871-73. 

The duties of the office were materially enlarged by the Legislature of 
1872-73, and the title changed to County Superintendent. 

A. Bayliss, 1878-74 ; S. D. Crane, 1874-75 ; E. T. Cosper, 1875-76 ; S. 
D. Crane, 1876-81 ; E. G. Machan, 1881. 


La Grange County has been represented in the State Legislature as follows, 
the dates attached showing the year of election : 

In the Senate. — 1832, Samuel Hanna, of Allen County ; 1839, Ebenezer 
M. Chamberlain, Elkhart County; 1841-43, David B. Herriman, Noble 
County ; 1847, Delavin Martin, La Grange County ; 1850, Joseph H. Defrees, 
Elkhart County; 1852, Thomas G. Harris, Elkhart County; 1856, John 
Thompson, La Grange County ; 1860, C, L. Murray, Elkhart County ; 1864, 
Robert Dykes, La Grange County ; 1866, Abner Lewis, La Grange County ; 
1868, Abner S. Case, La Grange County; 1872, William Bunyan, Noble County; 
1876, Elijah W. Weir, La Grange County ; 1880, Henry Hostetter, Noble 

In the House of Representatives. — 1833, David H. Colerick, Allen 
County; 1834, John B. Chapman, Kosciusko County ; 1837-38, D. B. Her- 
riman, Noble County ; 1840, John B. Howe, La Grange County ; 1841, John 
Thompson, La Grange County ; 1843, Joshua T. Hobbs, La Grange County ; 
1844, William H. Nimmon, Noble County; 1845, T. H. Wilson, Noble 
County ; 1846, John Y. Clark, La Grange County ; 1847, George W. Sheldon, 
Noble County; 1848, Elijah A. Webster, La Grange County; 1849, Rufus D. 
Keeny, Noble County. 

After this date the county itself has been entitled to a Representative 
as follows : 1850, John P. Jones ; 1850-53, Francis Henry ; 1854, Will- 
iam Smith; 1856, Samuel P. Williams; 1858, John Thompson; 1860, 
Samuel Hudson ; 1862-64, Francis P. Griffith ; 1866, William Smith ; 1868, 
Timothy Field ; 1870, Williamson Rawles ; 1872, William Prentiss ; 1874-76, 
Samuel Harper; 1878, 0. B. Taylor; 1880, 0. B. Taylor. 


Joint Representatives for Elkhart and La Granc^e Counties. — 1860, Robert 
Parrett, of La Grange County ; 1862, Amos Davis of La Grange County. 

In the Contention for Revision of Constitution of State, 1850. — From the 
District of La Grange, J. B. Howe ; for La Grange and Elkhart Counties, Joseph 
H. Mather, of Elkhart County. 

The records fail to show who represented the County in the Senate from 
1834 1o 1839 ; also the Representative in the House in 1842. With these ex- 
ceptions, the above list is probably complete. Until the adoption of the new 
Constitution, the Senatorial term was two years, and the Representative term 
one year. Since then, the Senatorial term has been four years, and the Rep- 
resentative term two years. 


La Grange County, since its organisation, has been represented in Congress 
as follows: 1881-36, by Jonathan McCarty, of Franklin County; 1836-41, 
by James H. Rariden, of Fayette County ; 1841-46, by Andrew Kennedy, 
of Delaware County ; 1847-49, by William. Rockhill, of Allen County ; 
1849-51, by Andrew J. Harlan, of Grant County ; 1851-53, by Samuel Bren- 
ton, of Allen County; 1853-55, by Ebenezer M. Chamberlain, of Elkhart 
County ; 1855-57, by Samuel Brenton, of Allen County ; 1857-61, by Charles 
Case, of Allen County ; 1861-63, by William Mitchell, of Noble County ; 
1863-65, by Joseph K. Edgerton, of Allen County ; 1865-67, by Joseph H. 
Defrees, of Elkhart County ; 1867-73, by William Williams, of Kosciusko 
County ; 1873-75, by Henry B. Saylor, of Huntington County ; 1875-81, 
by John H. Baker, of Elkhart County ; 1881 to present, by W. G. Colerick, 
of Allen County. 


Total amount expended for county purposes for the year ending 

November 1, 1837 % 1,367 83 

November 1, 1838 2,878 29 

May 1, 1839 , 1,686 08 

May 1, 1840 2,773 46 

May 1,1841 3,639 73 

May 31,1842 2,933 61 

May 31, 1843 no rep' t. 

May 31, 1844 8,161 56 

May 31,1845 8,882 66 

May 31,1846 8,657 53 

May 31,1847 5,987 68 

May 31, 1848 9,145 07 

May 31,1849 7,231 96 

May 31,1850 7,109 74 

May 31,1851 6,529 22 

May 31,1852 6,231 47 

May 31,1853 4,790 67 

May 31,1854 , 7,877 37 

May 31, 1865 4,470 00 


May 31,1856 7,087 56 

May 31, 1857 4,443 37 

May 31, 1858 6,381 08 

May 31, 1859 7,671 70 

May 31, 1860 8,923 24 

May 31,1861 10,537 30 

May 31,1862 11,710 58 

May 31, 1863 21,648 21 

May 31,1864 14,461 27 

May 31,1865 26,695 38 

May 31,1866 46,521 64 

May 31,1867 35,763 73 

May 31,1868 27,973 03 

May 31,1869 14,343 69 

May 31,1870 14,498 56 

May 31, 1871 19,208 61 

May 31,1872 19,650 31 

May 31,1873 41,846 79 

May 31, 1874 16,481 22 

May 31, 187o 17,176 65 

May 31,1876 18,368 37 

May 31. 1877 17,570 62 

May 31, 1878 30,484 79 

May 31, 1879 68,654 11 

May 31, 1880 64,350 07 

May 31,1881 30,466 45 

From 1861 to 1868 covers the period of war expenses ; 1873, the building 
of a new jail, and 1878-81, the building and furnishing the new court house. 
The expenditures of this county fund, raised for county expenses 
alone, were for the year ending May 31, 1881, as follows : 

On account of assessment of revenue $1,379 00 

On account of agriculture (show license) 10 00 

On account of books, stationery and printing 1,068 07 

On account of court expenses 443 62 

On account of county officers 4,233 49 

On account of highways and bridges 3,261 52 

On account of jurors' fees. 1,008 95 

On account of poor 3,981 94 

On account of public buildings 7,617 95 

On account of redemption of lands 64 19 

On account of specific 1,912 59 

On account of State benevolent institutions and insane 1,023 47 

On account of bounty for fox scalps 27 00 

On account of public ditches 1,205 91 

On account of criminals 316 94 

On account of estate of David Rogers 2,911 81 

Total $30,466 45 


Below will be found the appraised value of the real and personal property 

of the county, the rate of taxation for county purposes, and the total average 

U J^Z^-tZyC/^^?^^^^^^^ 




rate of taxation for all purposes, State, county, township and town, for the years 
named : 


Valuation of County. 

County Tax Rate on flOO 

Average Tax Kate for 

all Purposes on 8100 


1844 , 

$ 636,703 

$1 00 

1 20 

$2 21 
1 76 

1845 ■ 


2 00 


2 18 


2 16 


1 Oi 


1 21 


1 08 




1 03 






1 07 




1 08 


1 13 






1 10 


1 10 


1 14 


1 98 


1 33 

1867 , 

1 46 

1868 . 

1 18 


1 13 


1 18 


1 46 


1 31 






1 14 


1 OYi 
1 87J 

1 eif 

1 19 

1877 , 




1 25^ 

1 26f 


The receipts from taxation during the year ending May 31, 1881, were 
as follows : 

State tax $ 9,018 76 

New State House tax 1,349 20 

State school tax 12,004 10 

County tax 27,615 66 

Road tax 8,325 53 

Township tax 2,487 10 

Special school tax 11,294 78 

Township tuition tax 8,936 80 

School-bond tax (Town of La Grange) 2,533 22 

Dog tax 1,209 73 

Corporation tax (Town of La Grange) 830 06 

TUa\ $85,304 94 



EA.RLY Roads, Stage Lines, Mail Routes, etc.— Railways— County Stock- 
Post Offices— Outline of the Growth of Religion— Spiritualism— Fouki- 
ERisM— The Saints— Outline of the Growth of Education— School 
Statistics— The County Press— Authorship— Politics— Secret Societies 
—The Blacklegs. 

THE development of the roads in the county marks the changes of the last 
half-century, as clearly, almost, as anything else. There was first the Indian 
trail, allowing travel in single file only, by man or beast, then the common 
wagon road, then the stage line, the plank road, and finally the railroad. The 
principal Indian trails run from Mongoquinong Prairie to White Pigeon, and 
to Fort Wayne and along these trails the first wagon roads were opened. The 
road from Fort Wayne was the great thoroughfare for many years. The sur- 
plus grain was mostly carried over it to market at Fort Wayne, whence was 
brought most of the merchandise used in the county. 

In the summer of 1836, a stage coach was put on the road from Lima to 
Constantine, Mich., to which point boats then ran on the St. Joseph River. 
This line was opened by William M. Gary, now of Carson City, Nev., and was 
run twice a week, bringing and carrying away many land buyers ; but as soon 
as these decreased the line was discontinued. 

La Grange County, though on the direct line for travel from New York to 
Chicago, and thus on the travel belt around the world, was unfortunately 
missed by the east and west thoroughfares first established, and is even yet. 
Detroit and Chicago being the first important posts in the northwest travel set 
in between them, followed by stage lines, striking the counties to the west, leav 
ing this county untouched. Toledo was then a little village known as Vistula. 
An effort was early made to open a through highway from Vistula to Chicago, 
which, if it had been built, would in all probability have passed through the 
county, and have made its history in development and population greatly differ- 
ent from what it is. On the 20th of January, 1835, Hon. John B. Howe, of 
Lima, wrote to Gen. Cass, asking his influence and work in favor of an appro- 
priation by Congress for the survey of such a road, and through his influence 
and that of Gen. Tipton, then one of the Senators from this State, an appro- 
priation of $20,000 for the survey was made March 3, 1835. It is Mr. Howe's 
recollection that about $10,000 was expended in surveying and laying out the 
road, but this was the first and the last money expended on it. It was thought 
then too late to divert the travel from the Detroit line, and that there would 


not be enough travel for two roads ! The heavily timbered land and stiff clay 
soil, for some distance west of Maumee Bay, had a material influence in retard- 
ing and discouraging the construction of the route. 

In 1835, a road, long known as the Vistula road, was laid out from the 
Elkhart County line through Lima, and on through the county toward Vistula, 
and subsequently became the line of much of the through travel. But the 
principal emigration route was over the Defiance road, from Defiance, Ohio, 
which intersected the Vistula road two and a half miles east of Lima. This 
road was authorized by act of the Legislature, in 1832. In the same year, the 
Fort Wayne road was also authorized, and the report of the viewers filed in 
November, 1832. This road was the principal line of traflfic, nearly all the 
surplus grain for market and merchandise for home use being carried over it, to 
and from Fort Wayne. This continued until the Michigan Southern Railroad 
was built. A road was laid out from Lima to Goshen, in 1834, and another 
known as the Baubaugo road, from the western line of the county, through La 
Grange, and directly east to Angola, in 1837. At the March term, 1837, the 
County Commissioners appropriated $150 to build a bridge across Turkey 
Creek, on the Perrysburg road ; |300 on State road from Lima to Goshen ; 
$350 on La Grange and Baubaugo, and $1,000 on Vistula road west of Lima. 
A road from Northport (a vanished town on the north side of Sylvan Lake, 
Rome City,) to Union Mills (Mongo), was laid out in 1839 ; one from Lima 
to Huntington, Ind., January, 1840, and one from La Grange to Wolcottville, 
in March, 1842. The Huntington road is now known as the Ligonier road. 
These were the first and more important common roads opened in the county. 

About 1850, an epidemic raged quite extensively in Northern Indiana for 
building plank roads. It was upon these that local travel was to be made a 
bliss and stockholders were to realize their best dividends. The people of this 
county were generous enough to share with those other counties in this delu- 
sion and joined in the construction of a plank road from Fort Wayne to Stur- 
gis. This road was constructed from Fort Wayne as far as Ontario, the line 
running from Kendallville to the Fourier Association grounds in Springfield 
Township, thence to Mongo, then called Union Mills, and from there to Onta- 
rio. Traveling upon it was splendid for two or three years, until the plank 
began to decay. Then it became execrable. Stockholders found that only loss 
could result in its maintenance and it was abandoned. 

The first railroad talked of in the county was the projected Buffalo & 
Mississippi Railroad, for which John B. Chapman, Representative from Kos- 
ciusko County, obtained a charter at the General Assembly of the State at 
the session of 1836-37. This road, it was contemplated, would run through 
the northern tier of counties of the State. The County Commissioners, at their 
November term, 1838, authorized a subscription of $500 stock in the road, 
and at their May term, 1839, granted authority for the issue of two county 
bonds of $1,000 each for stock in the road. Books were opened for subscrip- 


tions by citizens and a considerable amount was subscribed. But the project^ 
like many others since, failed of accomplishment. Next came much talk and 
great expectations of the Michigan Southern Railroad, and it was once confi- 
dently thought that that company would have to avail themselves of the Buflfalo 
& Mississippi charter in order to reach Chicago. The Chief Engineer of the com- 
pany came to Lima, in the fall of 1850, to see Mr. Howe an-d others in reference 
to the right of way, etc., for the company; but Mr. Howe was, at the time, at 
Indianapolis, a member of the State Constitutional Convention. But encour- 
aged by the demand and perseverance of the citizens of Southern Michigan, 
the railroad company found a way there further westward before entering In- 
diana. But the building of that line so far northward resulted, after a time, 
in the necessity of the air line route, built by the same company, from Toledo to 
Elkhart. The first line for this road was surveyed through the southern tier of 
the townships of the county and would, in all probability, have been constructed 
on that line but for extraordinary activity of some capitalists at Kendallville. 
The county was thus inclosed on the north and south by two great thoroughfares, 
but neither quite touching it. For about twenty years, all the surplus products of 
the county were carried to these roads, materially aiding in building up the towns 
on it and adjoining the county. Probably one-half and not less than one-third 
of the trade, development and prosperity of the towns of Sturgis and White 
Pigeon, on the north line, and Kendallville and Ligonier, on the south line, is 
owing to business drawn from La Grange County. But for this circumstance 
the towns of the county would now be much larger than they are and the pop- 
ulation at least one-half more. 

It was not until the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad was built, that the 
county had a single home market. The agitation for this road commenced in 
1855. Joseph Lomax, of Marion, Grant County, was the first and principal 
originator of the enterprise, and was so successful in arousing the people along 
the proposed line, that many put part, and some their whole, farms in subscrip- 
tion for stock ; farms being one of the commodities accepted for stock. Con- 
siderable work was done on the line in the county, when the enterprise com- 
menced to languish, and work was finally entirely suspended. But the com- 
pany managed to keep up a feeble existence, got the land grant in Michigan re- 
newed after the expiration of the time first fixed for the completion of the 
road, thus keeping the hopes of the people alive until 1869, when, under a new 
management, with Joseph K. Edgerton, of Fort Wayne, as President, and who, 
as Member of Congress in 1863-65, had got the land grant renewed, the com- 
pany was enabled to re-enlist the interest of the people to such an extent that 
about $100,000 was subscribed by individuals in the county, nearly all along 
the line of road. Under this stimulus and aid, the road was completed through 
the county. The first locomotive reached La Grange from Sturgis, April 11, 
1870, welcomed by the roar of cannon, and music by the band. Flags were 
swung to the breeze, smiles brightened every face, men shook hands, then. 


thrust them down into their pockets, and provided means for a sumptuous din- 
ner at the hotels for all the track layers and railroad employes. That sea- 
son, the road was completed from Sturgis to Fort Wayne, and the next year 
from Sturgis to Grand Rapids, Mich. The stock taken by the people has 
been almost valueless until recently, when it has attained a value of 10 cents 
on the dollar. But the road has been of immense benefit to the county, and 
few, if any, who took stock complain of the investment. It has, to a consider- 
able extent, checked the outflow of trade, and furnished good markets within 
her own borders, where farmers can sell and invest at home. The county, 
though, will continue to be largely contributary to outside towns, near its bor- 
ders, until an east and west line is built through. There have been a number 
of east and west railroads projected, talked of, and advocated ; and in January, 
1873, a county election was held on the proposition to appropriate $98,000 in 
aid of a projected line called the New York & Chicago Air Line Railroad. The 
proposition was defeated by a vote of 1,520 against, to 1,220 for. This line 
was surveyed to run centrally through the county, east and west. The financial 
crisis coming on soon after, nothing more has been heard of that enterprise. 
An extension of the Detroit, Hillsdale & Northwestern Railroad through the 
county and on west has been several times talked of, and in 1880 was strongly 
advocated, and quite a large sum of money was subscribed for it, in the north- 
eastern part of the county. This project is liable to revive at any time. A 
narrow-gauge route from Lake Michigan through the county to Toledo was 
much talked of also, in 1880. A number of public meetings were held, and 
much running to and fro caused, but that was all. In the winter of 1880-81, 
the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad Company had a preliminary 
survey made for another track from Toledo, through Angola and La Grange, to 
Goshen. At present, all these projects are little talked of, and much less ex- 
pected to culminate in any real construction. In 1872, a line for the Canada 
Southern Railroad was surveyed through the southern section of the county, 
subscriptions taken, right of way obtained, number of ties delivered, but the 
financial crisis laid that enterprise on the shelf also. 

The first post office in the county was opened at a farm house on Mon- 
quinong Prairie, George Egnew, Postmaster, in 1832. The post office at La 
Grange was opened in 1843, with Charles B. Holmes as Postmaster. The dates 
of the opening of the other offices are not accessible. There are now sixteen 
offices in the county — La Grange, Lima; Scott, Van Buren Township ; Ontario, 
Lima Township; Brighton and Greenfield Mills, Greenfield Township; Mongo 
and Brushy Prairie, Springfield Township; South Milford, Milford Township; 
Wolcottville, Woodruff and Valentine, Johnson Township; Steno, Clearspring 
Township ; Emma, Eden Township ; Pashan and Shore, Newbury Township. 
The La (jrange Post Office attained to the third class (Presidential) in 1872, and 
is the only one of that class in the county. Until the railroads were built, 
the mails were brought from Fort Wayne by stage. After the completion of 


the Michigan Southern routes, they were brought from Sturges and Kendall- 
ville in like manner. Since 1870, the mails have been forwarded by the 
Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, and are distributed to the county from 
Kendallville, Noble County, La Grange and Lima. The present star line 
mail routes are from Lima to Ontario, Brighton, Mongo, Brushy Prairie and 
South Milford, to Kendallville, tri-weekly ; from La Grange to Steno, semi- 
weekly ; from La Grange to Emma, Shore and Pashan and Goshen, semi- 
weekly ; from White Pigeon to Scott, from Orland to Greenfield Mills, from 
Wolcottville to Woodruff. 

The first preaching, that there is record of, in the county, was in the 
vicinity of Lima, in 1829, by Rev. Erastus Felton, sent out by the Ohio Meth- 
odist Conference as a missionary to the settlements in Southern Michigan and 
Northern Indiana. He was succeeded in 1831 by Rev. Leonard B. Geerly. 
In July, 1832, Rev. Christopher Corey, the Pastor of the Presbyterian Church 
at White Pigeon, Mich., came over to Lima, and, taking a stump for a pulpit, 
preached to the people. The next year he became a permanent resident, and 
is yet residing at Lima, a living witness of all the remarkable changes of half 
a century, and can trace, not only there, but throughout the county, the in- 
fluences of the good seed sown, at the beginning of the settlement, by himself 
and other Christian workers. 

Rev. H. J. Hall, a Baptist minister, sent West by the Massachusetts 
Home Mission Society, came in 1833 and located a little north of the town of 
Lexington. His pastorate was brief, owing to ill health, requiring him to re- 
turn East. Though he was not able to organize any societies in the county, 
others soon followed, by whom they were organized, and, in 1837, g, Baptist 
Church was organized at Wolcottville, and, in 1846, another at Lima, and 
since in several other localities in the county. The Methodist Mission was 
dropped in a few years, a regular circuit formed, and this was followed by 
division into other circuits. At present there are five distinct charges, and 
some twenty local societies. The Presbyterians have flourishing churches at 
La Grange and Lima, and membership in different parts of the county. The 
once distinguished Bishop Philander Chase, of Ohio, preached at Lima as early 
as in 1834; other Protestant Episcopal ministers followed him, with occasional 
services, until 1851, when a church was organized at Lima, and subsequently 
one at La Grange in 1872. These denominations were the earlier founders of 
religious societies in the county. 

Individuals connected with other branches were as early here as any of 
these, but we have no record of organized societies by other churches until 
1854, when three church societies were organized — a Congregational at Lima, 
German Baptist (Dunkers), in Newbury Township, and the Evangelical Lutheran 
at La Grange. Still other churches formed societies, but at what dates we 
have not been able to learn — the United Brethren in Christ, the Free- Will 
Baptist, the Christian or Disciple, the Albrights, Protestant Methodist and Wes- 


leyan Methodists. The La Grange County Bible Society was one of the 
earlier religious organizations. At a meeting of its Board of Managers in 
March, 1839, the following interesting report, prepared at the time by a com- 
mittee consisting of Revs. H. J. Hall and Christopher Cory, was presented 
and adopted : 

" During the past year, this county has been supplied with the precious 
Word of Life. At a period almost coeval with the first settlement of this 
county, this good work was commenced under the auspices of the Bible society 
in St. Joseph County, Mich., after which it was carried forward through the 
instrumentality of a very few of our own citizens. In the spring of 1834, this 
society was formed, and further arrangements were made from time to time for 
the extension of this river of life, that it might freely flow to every human 
habitation, willing to receive it, within our bounds. Yet, notwithstanding this 
work was commenced at so early a period, we have never till the present been 
permitted to say it is finished. But, be it remembered, this work is finished 
only for the present time, and within our little bounds. Again and again must 
the feet of him that bringeth glad tidings be speeding their way through our 
villages, our prairies and forests, to the cottages of the poor and the destitute, 
until that glorious period shall come, when the earth shall be filled, like the 
overflowing sea, with the knowledge of our God, whose spirit, holy and divine, 
inspired this sacred volume." 

The agent, Rev. H. J. Hall, employed by this society to explore this 
county and to supply the destitute with the Bible, has reported the following 
facts, to wit: 

" This county contains 650 families, 3,657 inhabitants, and 450 professors 
of religion. Among those who made a public profession of their faith in 
Christ, 209 belong to the Methodist denomination, 152 to the Presbyterian, 
72, Baptist; 9, Episcopalian, and 6 to the Lutheran. One hundred and 
seventeen individuals professing to have passed from death unto life, most 
of whom made a profession of religion previous to their coming to this county, 
are now living outside of the inclosure of Christ's kingdom. In this county 
there are 1,035 children between the ages of five and fifteen years, of whom 
only 278 have attended school the past year three months, leaving 757 who 
have not attended any school, or have attended less than three months. One 
agent further reports that he found eighty families destitute of the Bible, most 
of whom received it gladly. May they find in it the hidden treasures of eter- 
nal life. Four families refused this precious book, thereby shutting out this 
light of heaven from their gloomy habitations. To conclude, let the friends 
of the Bible be encouraged to redouble their efforts, knowing that their labor in 
the Lord is not in vain, and that in due season, they shall reap if they faint 
not. C. Corey, Chairman of Committee." 

Here we have a close enumeration of the inhabitants at this time, a showing 
of their religious status, and a classification of their denominational divisions. 


Only four families of the whole number did not want a Bible. Then about 
one in every eight of the population made a public profession of faith in Christ ; 
now, as nearly as we can ascertain, the proportion is one in six. 

The wave of spiritism which swept over the country in an early day, 
did not neglect La Grange County, and for a time, between 1850 and the war, 
spirit-rapping and writing and like phenomena were the leading sensation, 
and the cause of apparently endless discussion between those who saw in it a 
divine revelation and those who believed it to be the manifestation of his 
Satanic majesty, walking the earth seeking whom he might devour. Numerous 
circles were formed and seances held, and nearly all the performances of the 
alleged spirits were claimed to be evoked by local mediums. Eloquent and 
talented lecturers came and proclaimed the new gospel, boastfully predicting 
its future supremacy over the old religion. Spiritism did maintain a form and 
substance in society, more or less influential, for some twenty years, but gradu- 
ally died away, until little is heard of it in public. After the lecturer and 
medium came the " exposer," and kept up considerable excitement concerning 
the dying cause. Those who have lived through it, have lived to see the cause 
of so many exhibitions of hasty credulity on one side and so much anxious fear, 
and even bigoted persecution, on the other, gradually lose its place as a basis of 
faith, and become an object of semi-scientific experimentation. 

It will be remembered that among the many schemes proposed in the first 
half of the century for changing the social order and inaugurating an era of 
good feeling and heavenly acting, the system of Charles Fourier attracted 
great attention. Into different forms of these socialistic schemes went young 
men of great faith in humanity and its possibilities, but, after a few years, 
dropped out, with little faith left, and a resolution to bear the ills we have in 
society rather than sacrifice themselves in a vain attempt to reconstruct ii. The 
society organized in this county has not had itself perpetuated in romance, as 
was the "Brook Farm," by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but it made a no less earnest 
efibrt for success, and had a pleasant existence for several years. 

The history of this organization, as far as it is handed down to us, is full 
of interest. A number of the best and most prominent citizens of Springfield 
Township were the founders of the enterprise. A constitution of thirty articles 
was framed in 1844, upon the basis of Fourier's doctrines as modified and pub- 
lished by Albert Brisbane, of New York, in 1843. A charter was granted to 
William S. Prentiss, Benjamin Jones and Harvey Olmstead, by the Legislature. 
Other members who joined in the first year were Jesse Huntsman, Alanson 
Mason, William Anderson, John H. Cutler, Eliphalet Warner, L. H. Stocker, 
Prentiss H. Evans, William Sheldon, Dr. Richardson, Hart Hazen and Margaret 
Wade. The name chosen was the rather warlike one of the " La Grange 

Joseph B. Wade, son of Margaret Wade, and a schoolboy at that time, 
says in a paper on this subject: "There are many pleasant recollections 



clustering around those years, when 120 people from Indiana and Michigan 
lived under the same roof and ate at the same table. The home of the Phalanx 
was a house 210 feet long by twenty-four feet wide, and two stories high, with 
a veranda to both stories on the front. In the center of the first story was a 
dining-room, forty feet long by twenty-four feet wide ; immediately above the 
school-room, which was large enough to accommodate the children. And a 
better controlled and managed school, it was never my fortune to attend." 

The system of management in the Phalanx was as follows : The industrial 
department was managed by a Council of Industry, who controlled, laid out, 
and directed all of the agricultural and mechanical departments, upon the basis 
as described in Article XVI (75 cents per day of ten hours), and so ordered 
that ten hours of the man who plowed were paid the same as eight hours of him 
who grubbed. The Council of Commerce had under its supervision all the 
buying, selling and traffic of the Phalanx. The Council of Education (made 
up of the best educational talent) had the entire management of the school and 
educational matters in the Phalanx. The several councils consisted of three or 
more members, of which the President was one. The different departments 
were sub-divided into groups of from three to eight persons, each group having 
its foreman, chosen by its members, who reported the time of each member to 
the Secretary once every week, in days and hours. 

" This system in many respects was advantageous to successful labor, and 
but for the fact of too little care in taking in members, might have been suc- 
cessful and popular as a labor-saving organization. But the whole thing was 
new and untried, and many adventurers came in, some for want of a home, others 
to winter and leave in the spring. I do not doubt that the prudent, careful 
men of the Phalanx, after disbanding that organization, could, with their years 
of experience, have formed one that would have been a step in advance of the 
old isolated system of living, not for successful industry merely, but socially 
and educationally. This Phalanx was wound up and settled by William Sea- 
burn and Ephraim Seeley, commissioned as provided by the constitution, without 
litigation, in 1847 or 1848, and its members scattered, leaving only at this 
writing (1876) in this county, Hon. William Prentiss and the mother of the 
family of William S. Prentiss ; Phineas Huntsman, of the family of Jesse 
Huntsman ; Harvey Olmstead, the writer and his wife, and Mrs. Ellen Deal, 
daughter of Benjamin Jones, upon whose farm the Phalanx was located." 

At about the same time as the Fourier movement, like ideas of co-opera- 
tion, but on a more religious basis, gave rise to an organization in Lexington 
of a co-oporative society under the modest title of " The Congregation of 
Saints." The association was completed March 5, 1843, when the following 
preamble was adopted, which will reveal the nature of the proposed remedy for 
evils, real and imaginary, afflicting society : 

The Congregation of Saints at Lexington, La Grange County, Ind., deeply sensible of the 
innumerable evils which aflaict all classes of society, and despairing of deliverance tlirough the 



agency of our present social and political systems which we believe are at variance with the 
principles of Christianity, and consequently the best interest of man; being desirous of securing 
for ourselves constant, and as far as possible, agreeable occupations, just dividends and the advan- 
tage of economy, only to be realized in association ; and to establish a complete system of edu- 
cation in all useful and elevating branches of physical, intellectual and moral science, together 
with the most ample provision for the aged and afflicted ; and above all, to escape from the per- 
petual conflicts and litigations which now render society little else than a pandemonium ; and 
which, we believe, grow out of the present systems, and out of the depraved nature of man ; do 
agree to unite in association, and to purchase and cultivate a domain of from two to six thousand 
acres of land, to prosecute such branches of commercial, mechanical, scientific, agricultural and 
horticultural employments as shall be conducive to our good ; to divide the products of the labor 
among ourselves on a discriminating scale, by which each shall, as nearly as possible, reap what 
he may sow ; to abolish the distinction of master and servant ; to preserve individuality ; to se- 
cure the rights and extend the privileges of women ; to cherish and strengthen all the tender 
ties and relations growing out of the family compact ; to enlarge the freedom of the individual 
by granting to all varied occupations, and the selection of the particular branch of industry for 
which they may feel an attraction. We believe that we shall be thus enabled to put in practice 
the two divine precepts — " Love thy neighbor as thyself," and "As ye would that others should do 
unto you, do ye even so unto them." 

The La Grange Freeman, of April 8, 1843, in which we find the articles 
of association of the Saints, remarks editorially, in referring to it : " What 
next! And what is to be the end of all these associations? Time alone will, 
reveal the results. If they prove beneficial, we shall rejoice ; but if disastrous, 
awful will be the consequences. The matter to us looks dark." A contributor 
in the same paper, commenting on the subject, says : " The world, at this day, 
Mr. Editor, is full of expedients for improving and ameliorating the condition 
of society. Among other reformers and new modelers of country and the 
world we have the Socialists, the Rationalists, each in their turn inculcating 
their peculiar doctrines, and some new and wonderful discovery about to en- 
lighten the world, renovate the earth and elevate human nature above the wants, 
the woes, and the vices which have so long afflicted mankind. * * * 
I, for one, have no confidence in these visionary theorists, these philosophic 
and intellectual benefactors of mankind, who are forming for us new principles 
of association and government, under the blessings of which offenses are to 
cease, and men to become peaceful and harmless as doves." 

Editor and contributor proved wiser than the " Saints," and Fourierites. 
Both associations were short-lived ; indeed, the " Saints " hardly got organ- 
ized before disorganization commenced, and the society was disbanded before 
the new mode of living was tested. No open advocates of these theories now 
remain. But for these reminiscences very few of this day would know such 
societies were ever advocated and formed in the county. Though unsuccessful, 
they merit a recollection as evidences, if no more, of the intellectual activity 
among the early settlers. 

A more popular and exciting theory of that day was the construction of 
the Scriptural prophecies preached by William Miller, to the effect that Jesus 
Christ would come into the world again, some time between March 21, 1843, 
and March 21, 1844, Several Millorite preachers came into the county and 


held revival meetings, at wbich there was great excitement, and as many con- 
versions as could be hoped for in such a thinly populated country. But the 
sun went down calmly March 21, 1844, and the world still went on in its old, 
old fashion. The millennium was set for a later date, and another "ism "lost 
its hold upon the people. 

An active interest in the cause of education is one of the characteristics of 
the county, from its first settlement to the present. While the first pio- 
neers were wending their way into the wilderness here, seeking homes for 
themselves and families, a member of an infidel club at Victor, N. Y., was sit- 
ting at the feet of the distinguished evangelist, Charles G. Finney, a humble, 
penitent, and then an enthusiastic convert to the Christian faith. This man, 
Nathan Jenks, as soon as he came to answer the question, under the new light 
he had received, "What wilt Thou have me to do," conceived the idea of 
founding an educational institute somewhere in the West, modeled somewhat 
after the Oberlin Institute of Ohio, then the favorite of Mr. Finney, and of 
which he was many years the President. Mr. Jenks, in coming West, struck 
Ontario, was pleased with the locality, bought land and settled down, and soon 
proposed his favorite project. On February 6, 1837, an organization was 
effected, a Board of Trustees elected, and the La Grange Collegiate Institute 
became an institution, and one of the very first institutions of higher education in 
Northern Indiana. A fuller history of this institute will be found in the Lima 
Township record. It wielded a strong and healthful educational influence for 
many years, lifted hundreds into the higher range of intellectual culture, and 
was materially beneficial to the cause of education throughout the whole coun_ 
ty. When it was proposed in the new constitution of 1852 to incorporate the 
free school system, the people of La Grange County were at the front urging its 
adoption. Before this the schools were supported almost exclusively by indi- 
vidual subscription. Since then as exclusively by State and local taxation. At 
present, and for some years past, tuition in all the public schools has been en- 
tirely free to all residents of the respective school districts. From the adoption 
of the new constitution to 1861, the teachers were licensed by a board of three 
examiners. Rev. C. Cory, of Lima, served several years on this board. From 
this time until 1873 there was but one examiner for the county, the office being 
filled during that time by Joseph H. Danseur, one year and five months ; 
George A. Marks, one year ; W. H. Hemenway, ten months ; Rufus Patch, 
three years and six months ; A. Fitz Randolph, one year and nine months ; 
William Cathcart, seven months. Now came a radical change in this office, 
the duties being so enlarged as to require a general supervision of all the schools 
of the county. The name was also changed to County Superintendent, and the 
office at once assumed an importance before unrecognized. This office has been 
filled as follows : S. D. Crane, 1870 to 1871 ; Alfred Bayless, 1871 to 1873 ; 
S. D. Crane, 1873 to 1874 ; E. T. Cosper, 1874 to 1875 ; S. D. Crane, 
1875 to 1831 ; E. G. Machan, 1881 to date. With the office of County Super- 


intendent was also established the County Board of Education, consisting of 
the Superintendent, the Trustees of the several townships, and the President of 
the School Boards of incorporated towns. This board is required to meet 
semi-annually, to ascertain the wants and needs of the schools, in property and 
text books, and to adopt general rules of management. Under this system ma- 
terial changes have been wrought in the school management. A higher grade 
of qualification for teaching has been enforced, nearly one-half of all applicants 
for teachers' licenses being rejected; school work has been better systematized, 
recitations arranged so as to secure more equal advantages for pupils, better 
class of text books adopted, the methods of instruction improved, more attention 
given to analysis than mere rule, and nearly all the schools put on a graded 
course of instruction. Nearly all are now graded, and arrangements are com- 
pleted by which pupils who finish the course of study, adopted October 17, 
1881, will receive a diploma which will admit them to any high school in the 
county without further examination. The course requires nine years to com- 
plete it, and as it is arranged, classes can be graduated from each school every 
two years. The marked improvement in the country schools of the county 
within the last three years shows the wisdom of establishing the office of County 
Superintendent. It will require but a few years more, with the hearty co-op- 
eration of patrons, teachers and school oflficers, to give our country schools the 
advantages largely of those in the towns. Better schoolhouses have been and 
are being built, and all are being supplied with greatly improved facilities for 
illustration, as maps, charts, cards, mathematical blocks, magnets, globes and 
other apparatus. 

Another part of the school machinery is the County Institute, held 
once a year, and Township institutes, held once a month, in each township, 
during the school months. It is claimed for the county the honor of having 
inaugurated the Institute system in the State, the first Teachers' Institute being 
held at Ontario, in 1846. This was followed the next year (1847) by a Nor- 
mal school of four weeks' term. Normal schools are yet held every summer, as 
a private enterprise, on the part, generally, of the Superintendents, but greatly 
to the benefit of those seeking to qualify themselves for eff"ective teaching. 

The State Superintendent, in his annual report of 1880, shows the follow 
ing interesting facts pertaining to this county : 

Number of persons of school age — from six years to twenty-one years.. 5,136 

Number that cannot read or write 6 

Number admitted into the schools for year ending August 30, 1881 4,824 

Average daily attendance.. 2,676 

Number of school districts Ill 

Number district graded schools 108 

Number township graded schools 4 

Average length of schools — Days 145 

Number of teachers — Male 86 

Number of teachers— Female 84 180 


Average wages of teachers per day : 

In townships — Males fl.60 

In townships — Females 1.29 

In towns — Males .• 3.12 

In towns — Females 1.50 

Total revenue fortuition , $44,688 81 

Total revenue for special school purposes — building schoolhouses, 

expenses of schools, etc $17,250 71 

Number of schoolhouses — Brick 17 

Number of schoulhouses — Frame 95 112 

Value of school property $181,893 00 

Volumes in township libraries 2,048 

Amount paid Trustees during the year for sei-vices in connection with 

the schools $525 00 

At the organization of the county, one section of land in each Congres- 
sional township was set apart for school purposes, its proceeds, when sold, to 
be invested as a permanent fund, and the interest to be applied to a tuition fund 
of the respective townships. All this land was sold some years ago. The total 
amount of the principal of the Congressional fund held in trust by the county 
May 31, 1881, was $17,576.80. There are three different funds used for the 
education of the children of the State — the Congressional fund above mentioned ; 
the Common School Fund, made up from various sources by the State, and 
which, on the 1st of June, 1880, amounted to |6, 616,112. 04 ; of this amount, 
$3,904,783.21 is in the form of a negotiable bond of the State, and the rest 
in money distributed to the several counties, pro rata, held in trust by the 
counties and loaned to the citizens. The constitution of the State prohibits the 
reduction of the principal of either of these funds, which now aggregate the 
immense sum of $9,065,254.73, equal to $12.88 per capita of those of school 
age. The amount of the Common School Fund, held in trust by La Grange 
County, May 31, 1881, was $21,621.68, making the total school funds held in 
trust, Congressional and Common School, $39,198.48. To the interest derived 
from these sources of school revenue, there is each year a levy by the State of 
sixteen cents on each $100 valuation of property, which is twice a year dis- 
tributed to several counties in proportion to enumeration of children. Another 
source of revenue for tuition is made by town and township levies, which they 
are permitted to make to an extent not to exceed 25 cents on each $100. These 
two taxes, added to the interest on the Congressional and Common School 
funds are for the tuition of the children. For the building of schoolhouses, repairs, 
furniture, apparatus and incidental expenses, each township and town levies 
a special school tax, to an amount deemed necessary, not to exceed 50 cents on 
each $100 valuation. 

The aggregate sums expended for school purposes, derived from these 
sources in this county for year ending September 30, 1881, was, for tuition, 
$26,581.20 ; and for special school purposes, $15,097.44 ; total, $41,678.64. 
The sum for many years has aggregated so nearly this amount, that a table 
showing each year's expenditures for schools is hardly necessary. 


The number of teachers licensed for the year ending June 1, 1881, was 
212 ; per cent for two years, 4 ; for eighteen months, 12; for twelve months, 
34 ; for six months, 50. 

The newspaper history of the county commences with the establishment, 
at Ontario, of the La Grange Freeman in July, 1842, with Samuel Heming- 
way, Jr., as editor. In the election of the next year it supported the Whig 
ticket and bore at the head of its editorial columns the names of Samuel Bigger 
for Governor and John H. Bradley, La Porte, for Lieutenant Governor. The 
paper was a six column folio and fairly printed. Its publication was continued 
nearly two years, when it was suspended and the material of the office moved to 
Lima, and the La Grange Whig started in 1845, with James S. Castle as editor 
and publisher. In September, 1844, another paper was started at Ontario by 
James M. Flagg, an attorney, called the People s Advocate. Early in 1845, 
this paper was moved to Lima and the name changed to the La Q-range Advo- 
cate. This was also a six column folio and Whig, in politics. The few copies 
of these papers that have been preserved unto the present are almost destitute 
of local references, the oditorial labor seemingly having been directed to clip- 
ping from distant papers and occasional comments upon National and State 
matters. There is a remarkable contrast, in respect to "locals," between the 
newspapers of that day and the present. A country paper now without five to 
ten columns of home news every week would hardly be looked at by the people. 
Then there was hardly as much in as many months. The La Grange Advocate, 
after a short life at Lima, was merged into the Lima Whig, which continued an 
active career until 1855, when it passed into the hands of C. D. Y. Alexander 
and soon after was discontinued. The Whigs, though, during all this time, 
were not permitted to exercise all the newspaper talent of the county. In Oc- 
tober, 1845, Messrs. Jewett, Owen & Bennett started the La Grange Democrat, 
which held up and defended the Democratic banner some four or five years, 
when it was suspended. Who were the different proprietors during that time, 
or whether there were any changes, cannot now be ascertained. The town 
of La Grange, the new county seat, had, by this time, so grown as to 
aspire to newspaper standing, and then, as now, there was somebody ready to 
fill such "felt wants." Mr. G. D. StanclifF was the first man to try the busi- 
ness in La Grange, by starting the La Grange Herald in 1856. It was but an 
experiment, and ere the year closed the Herald had expired: But the want had 
by no means been gratified, and one morning in December, 1856, the current 
topic was a new printing office in town. John K. Morrow, of Bryan, Ohio, 
had moved in, bringing with him a Washington hand press and printing ma- 
terial covered with a chattel mortgage. Associating with him Rayhouser 

he at once commenced the issue of the La Grange Standard, which has made 
regular weekly visitations to the people of the county from that day to this. 
It was the first Republican paper established in the county. A number of 
changes in proprietors and editors have occurred; but, with all the changes, 


the paper has been gradually improved and advanced in circulation and pros- 
perity. Rayhouser held his interest but a short time, when he sold to C. D. 
Y. Alexander, of Lima, and he soon sold his interest to Joseph B. Wade. 
Morrow and Wade conducted the paper about a year, when Mr. Wade sold his 
interest to John D. Devor, in the winter of 1859, 

In April, I860, Dr. Charles 0. Myers bought the entire office, and con- 
ducted the paper until 1863, when he sold out to Thomas S. Taylor, who had, 
a few months previous, started a paper, the Lima Union, at Lima. Mr. Myers 
taking the material of the Union in part pay, moved it to Kendallville, and 
started the Kendallville Standard. Mr. Taylor conducted the La Grange 
Standard until November 22, 1867, when he sold the office to Dr. John H. 
Rerick, who held it until May, 1869, when he sold it to John D. Devor. The 
latter added some $2,500 material to the office, consisting of a new Washington 
hand press, two job presses, a large quantity of type, and other material. On 
the iSth of July, 1872, the office was again bought by Dr. J. H. Rerick, and 
is still owned and conducted by him. In October, 1874, he added a power 
Taylor press (the first power press ever brought into the county), steam-power, 
mailing machine and considerable other material. 

In 1859, J. S. Castle started a Democratic paper at La Grange, called the 
La Grange Democrat, which he published about a year at La Grange, when he 
moved the office to Lima and continued the publication there until some time 
in 1862, when it was discontinued entirely. In 1868, through the joint opera- 
tion of a number of Democrats in the different parts of the county, an entirely 
new office was bought and a new Democrat started, with Francis Henry and 
Howard M. Coe as editors and publishers. This paper took an active part in 
the campaign of 1868. In April, 1869, the office was consumed with the 
block of business buildings then destroyed by the most disastrous fire that has 
yet occurred in the town. A number of Democrats renewed their stock, and 
new press and new material were again purchased and the Democrat re-issued. 
Mr. Henry soon retired from the paper, when its publication was continued by 
Mr. Coe until some time in 1870, when he abandoned the office and it was 
closed up. The material of the office was purchased in 1871 by Hiram A. 
Sweet, and a new paper was started, entitled the La Grange Independent. Mr. 
A. Bayliss bought an interest in the paper in 1872, and conducted the edito- 
rial department about a year, when he sold his interest back to Mr. Sweet. 
Mr. Sweet continued its publication until the spring of 1874, when he discon- 
tinued it and moved the office to Sturgis, Mich. In the spring of 1874, A. H. 
Wait, of Sturgis, Mich., started the Register at Wolcottville, which he sold a 
few months after to his publisher, James R. Rheubottom. In December, 1875, 
S. D. Crane, of La Grange, bought an interest in the office, and in March? 
1876, bought the remaining interest held by Mr. Rheubottom, and moved the 
office to La Grange, changing the name of the paper to the La Grange Register^ 
the first copy of the latter being issued in April, 1876. In June, of the same 


year, J. C. Hewitt bought an interest in the oflSce, and in December succeeding 
bought the entire office, and has conducted it since. In August, 1881, he 
put in a power Campbell press, the second power press introduced in the 

James R. Rheubottom started a new paper in Rome City, Noble County, 
in the spring of 1876, which he moved to Wolcottville in June, the same year, 
and issued it under the title of the Wolcottville Gazette, conducting it until 
November, 1878, when he sold the office to I. W. Lohman, who shortly after 
moved it to Rome City again, when it was, in the course of a year, discontin- 
ued entirely, and the material shipped to Indianapolis. 

November 13, 1879, a new La Grange Democrat was started at La Grange, 
by J. Frank Snyder, and is still being issued. Several different persons have 
been associated with Mr. Snyder in the publication of the paper. 

At present writing (October, 1881), there are three papers published in 
the county, all at La Grange ; the Standard, a seven-column quarto. Republican 
in politics; the Register, a. s\x-co\nmn quarto, independent ; Sind the Democrat, 
a five-column quarto; all published on the "co-operative plan." 

In the line of book authorship, there have been, so far as we can learn, 
but two residents of the county who have ventured into this field. Hon. John 
B. Howe, of Lima, who has devoted the late years of his life largely to the 
study of financial problems, has written and had published four books on the 
subject under the following titles :. 

1st. "The Political Economy of Great Britain, the United States and 
France, in the Use of Money. A new science of production and exchange." 

2d. " Monetary and Industrial Fallacies. A dialogue." 

3d. " Mono-metalism and Bi-metalism." 

4th. "The Common Sense. The Mathematics and the Metaphysics of 

The chief proposition, and to which others maintained are subordinate, 
in these four books is, that the present theory of money is founded, like the 
ptolemaic theory for the universe, on illusory and not real facts, and that there 
can be no sound monetary, and hence no sound social, science, so far as 
political economy is concerned, until monetary science is founded on actual 
facts. He claims, in these books, to have demonstrated the falsity of the 
science of money as now taught, and the truth of his own science. 

Dr. J. H. Rerick wrote, and had published, in 1880, a book of nearly 
three hundred pages, illustrated with maps and portraits, entitled, "The Forty- 
fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. History of its services in the war of the 
rebellion, and a personal record of its members." 

The politics of the county, when the contest was between Whigs and 
Democrats, was nearly equally divided. In five Presidential contests, the 
Whigs won in two, 1840 and 1844 ; the Democrats in two, 1836 and 1848. 
In 1852, the two parties were a tie. The Abolitionists cast 38 votes in 1844, 


114 in 1848, and, in 1852, under the name of '-Free-Soil," 117 votes. The 
repeal of the Missouri compromise, the attempted extension of slavery into Kan- 
sas and Nebraska, aroused much indignation and warm political controversies 
in the county. The result was a general disorganization of the two old parties, 
and a sharp issue on the anti-Nebraska question in 1854, resulting in the elec- 
tion of the entire anti-Nebraska ticket, by majorities ranging from 125 to 500. 
The organization of the Republican party, combining all the opponents of 
slavery extension soon following, the political lines were drawn on that line in 
this county, and until the appearance of the National or Greenback party, there 
were but the two party organizations in the county, the Republican and Dem- 
ocratic. At every election since, the Republican party has elected every county 
candidate put in nomination by its county convention, by handsome majorities. 
There is not, probably, another county where either party, so largely ascendent 
in a county, has maintained such a solid and unbroken front for twenty-seven 
years. The Republican majorities at the Presidential elections have ranged 
from 7l50 to 1,033. The National or Greenback party was organized in the 
county in 1876, and in that year cast 68 votes for its Presidential' candidate, 
and at the State election of 1878 attained its maximum, casting some 500 
votes. As soon as the country began to recover from the financial crisis 
of 1873, that party began to decline, and, at the Presidential election of 1880, 
cast only 116 votes. ' Now it has entirely disappeared as an organization. In 
the statistical table elsewhere will be found the Presidential vote at every elec- 
tion since the organization of the county. 

The people of La Grange County, from its earliest settlement, have, in the 
main, been a very temperate people. Total prohibition of the use of strong 
drinks as a beverage has had at all times strong advocates. So strong has this 
sentiment been that for many years, as long as the issue of license to retail was 
left to discretion of the County Commissioners, no licenses were issued at all. 
The organized temperance work has been mainly done through the Sons of 
Temperance, the Good Templar Order, the red ribbon and blue ribbon move- 
ments. The Hutchinson Lodge of Good Templars, organized in La Grange in 
July, 1866, has met regularly every week since, and been the center of an 
active and beneficent temperance influence. Another lodge of the same order, 
entitled the Davis Lodge, was organized, and is yet doing good work in the 
cause of temperance and social culture. 

A number of other secret societies of social character have been organized, 
and been more or less influential, socially, in the community. A Lodge of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows was organized at Lima in 1 848, and at- 
tained a membership as high as forty-three, consisting mainly of the active 
business young men. Hon. Schuyler Colfax gave a public lecture under the 
auspices of the Lodge at the M. E. Church in 1849. The California emigra- 
tion drew so largely on its membership and so weakened it, that the Lodge sur- 
rendered its charter in 1854. About the same time the Odd Fellows' Lodge 


was organized, a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was also organized at 
Lima. A charter for the organization of the Meridian Sun Lodge No. 7, 
Free and Accepted Masons, was granted June 1, 1849, with William Martin, 
Worshipful Master ; F. Flanders, Senior Warden ; William Berg, Junior War- 
den ; John Kromer, Secretary ; John Briscoe, Treasurer. Since its organiza- 
tion, 425 members have been enrolled. The present officers are : B. F. Lutz, 
Worshipful Master ; M. V. Stroup, Senior Warden; J. H. Caton, Junior War- 
den ; A. F. Skeer, Treasurer ; and J. H. Lutz, Secretary. 

The Star in the West Lodge, I. 0. 0. F., at La Grange, was organized in 
June, 1855, has had a membership of 150, and is still in active working order. 
At Wolcottville, there are two Lodges. Aldine Lodge I. 0. 0. F. organized 
April 19, 1875, with a membership now of twenty-six, and Ionic Lodge F. A. 
M., organized May 28, 1868, with a present membership of forty-seven. 

The Grange movement, in 1873, found a number of active and influential 
adherents in this county. Some eleven Granges of the Patrons of Industry 
were organized, and all, we believe, by William Collett. The strongest 
Granges were formed in Clearspring Township, where one or two still exist ; 
all the others, though, have been discontinued. 

In the month of February, 1878, a movement was made in La Grange 
County, to organize a Home Insurance Company on the mutual plan. The 
first meeting of those interested was held on the 2d of March of the same year, 
at which time the following men became charter members : Samuel P. Brad- 
ford, H. H. Bassler, John Dalton, James Miller, B. W. Vesey, Philip Sprewer, 
Joseph Steininger, Alanson Blackmun, Mrs. Zedina Buck, Wrench Winters, 
William Crampton, Robert Kellett, Mrs. M. Kellet, D. N. Stough, James 
Smith, Levi Putt, George W. Storms, William Gardner, Henry Weiss, Z. L. 
Scidmore, Israel Spangler, Peter Alspaugh, Levi Eshleman, A. J. Royer, John 
Bellairs, William Woodward, William S. Olney, Peter Moak, George Preston, 
John McDonald and Elias Wight. These men took out policies, and sub- 
scribed stock to the amount of $57,615. The company, from that time to this, 
has grown very rapidly until the membership now numbers about 500. On the 
11th of February, 1879, the stock amounted to $277,390 ; February 10, 1880, 
to $431,846 ; June 6, 1881, to $645,455 ; and .January 11, 1882, to $751,751. 
But four assessments have been made upon the members to make good losses, as 
follows: January, 1879, a tax of eleven and one-half mills on the dollar; De- 
cember, 1879, a tax of eight mills ; April, 1880, a tax of twenty-two mills ; 
and June, 1881, a tax of fifteen mills. The total losses paid to the present 
writing (January 7, 1882), are as follows : During the first year, $110 ; sec- 
ond year, $250 ; third year, $968 ; fourth year, $851.98. Total losses paid, 
$2,179.98. The total per cent of taxation to meet losses during the four years 
is but fifty-six and one-half. Every loss has been promptly paid, and the com- 
pany presents a fine financial showing. The losses have been mostly by light- 
ning, whereby various flocks of sheep, meat in smoke houses, and buildings 


suffered. The first officers were : Amasa Bunnell, President ; Samuel P. 
Bradford, Secretary ; and H. H. Bassler, Treasurer. 

With the honest and enterprising pioneers of La Grange and Noble Coun- 
ties, came some ingenious and active villains, who at once commenced to avail 
themselves of all the advantages a sparsely- settled country, with its hidden 
recesses in woods and swamp, always furnishes the criminal classes for carrying 
on the general villainy of stealing, robbing and counterfeiting. These men 
soon collected around them others of like propensities, and secretly seduced 
many young men into the ways of pollution and on to crime. The Indians 
frequently complained of the theft of their ponies, and the early settlers of their 
horses, and, later on, house-breaking, house-burning, robbery, and the passage 
of counterfeit money, became annoyances of frequent occurrence, not only in 
these counties, but in all Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan. The sys- 
tematic action displayed in these lawless depredations indicated so strongly a 
conspiracy that the belief became general that there was a well-organized band 
of villains, within or very near the borders of these counties. As early as 
1841 or 1842, the people realized that the ordinary processes of law were 
unequal to the task of suppressing the lawlessness, and a public meeting was 
held at Kendallville for the purpose of organizing a society for the mutual 
protection of honest citizens, and to raise funds to aid in the execution of the 
law. The results of this meeting may be learned in the Noble County history. 
The criminals increased in numbers and audacity. The Legislature was finally 
appealed to, and, in 1852, an act was passed authorizing the formation of com- 
panies for the detection and apprehension of horse thieves and other felons. 
•The companies were to consist of not less than ten nor more than one hundred, 
who were to sign articles of association, giving name of company, the name and 
residence of each member, which organization was to be approved by the County 
Commissioners, and put on record. The companies were authorized to call to 
their aid the peace officers of the State, in accordance with law, in the pursuit 
and apprehension of felons, and reclaiming stolen property, and each member 
was given the powers and privileges of constables, when engaged in arresting 
criminals. Although this law gave such ample authority for organized eifort 
for the protection of society, the depredations of thieves and counterfeiters were 
endured until September 20, 1856, when the first company was organized in Mil- 
ford Township, assuming the name of the La Grange County Rangers. No 
person was allowed to become a member whose name was tainted with dishon- 
orable associations, and who would not take a solemn oath of secrecy. The 
meetings were strictly private, and all plans for operation held in profound 
secrecy until contemplated arrests were made. This society was in existence 
more than a year before any others were formed ; then followed the organization 
of the La Grange Protective Association, La Grange Association of Clear- 
spring, Self-Protectors of South Milford, Self-Protectors of Springfield, and 
Eden Police. On January 9, 1858, a meeting called by the regulator companies 


was held at Wright's Corners, which passed a series of resolutions which, after 
being signed by 130 citizens, was ordered to be published in the La Grange 
Standard. These resolutions alleged that La Grange and Noble Counties 
were infested with blacklegs, burglars and petty thieves, to such a degree that 
the property of the citizens was very insecure, and charged that the tavern then 
kept " by B. F. Wilson, at Wright's Corners, was believed to be a rendezvous for 
these infernal banditti," and that he was an accomplice of the villains. The 
resolutions pledged each signer to use the utmost exertion to bring the offenders 
to justice, " by assisting to take them wherever they may be found, and that, 
when taken, we will deal with them in such a manner as to us may seem just 
and efficient." Wilson was also warned that in case any depredations were com- 
mitted by persons he harbored, he would be dealt with as a real depredator. 
This meeting was but the mutterings of the coming storm of indignation against 
tlie rascally element that had so long tormented the people. The next week, 
January 16, 1858, at an Old Settlers' meeting in Kendallville, the regulator 
companies of Noble and La Grange Counties appeared in parade, marching in 
double file through the most prominent streets of the town. The depredators, 
tnany of whom witnessed the scene, were alarmed, but were given no time to 
get away, for the next day the arrests began. Nine of the ringleaders were 
arrested at Rome City, and taken to Ligonier, where they confessed (a very 
fashionable performance about that time), and were then either tried by the 
committee, or turned over to the constituted authorities, to be legally dealt 
with. The proceedings in that vicinity, and the hanging of Gregory McDonald, 
is related in the Noble County record elsewhere in this volume. A number of 
arrests followed in this county, the people were much agitated, the old jail was 
crowded to its utmost with prisoners, and the courts overrun with business. At 
one term of the court, seven men were sentenced to the penitentiary. Several 
men who were tried in the Common Pleas Court were released by the Supreme 
Court on the ground that their crime was triable in the Circuit Court only. 
With the exception of these, the convicted paid the assigned penalty of their 
crimes, and the whole gang was most effectually broken up. Since then the 
misdeeds in the community have been almost entirely left to the control of the 
regular judicial officers, though several regulator organizations still exist, and 
occasionally lend a helping hand in the arrest of criminals. 


by j. h. reeiok, m. d. 

Names of Soldiers who Served in Wars Prior to 1861— Public Sentiment 
WHEN Sumter Fell— The Call to Arms — Collection of Sanitary 
Stores — Volunteers and Recruits— The Draft Terror — Soldiers' 
Aid Societies — La Grange County's Roll of Honor — Battles Partic- 
ipated In— Disloyalty— Enthusiastic Union Meetings — Anecdotes. 

" I will teach thine infant tongue 
To call upon those heroes old 
In their own language, and will mold 

Thy growing spirit in the flame , 

Of Grecian lore : That by each name 
A patriot's birthright thou mayest claim." 

— Shelley. 

FOR thirty prosperous years La Grange County developed in population and 
resources without knowing the spirit of war. Children were born and 
grew to manhood without ever seeing a soldier in military dress. Mothers and 
maidens had never felt the anguish of separation from husljand or lover at the 
stern call of a nation at war. Perhaps not half a score of men in the county 
at the opening of the rebellion had any knowledge, except through tradition 
and reading, of the forced march, scanty rations, the exposed bivouac, guard 
and picket duty, toilsome work on breastworks, rifle-pits and forts, the marshal- 
ing of the armed hosts for " battle's magnificently stern array," the fury of 
the storm of shot and shell, the falling dead and mangled human forms, the 
rejoicing of victory and the despair of defeat, the heart-sickening scenes in 
hospital, the anxious waiting at home for news of the great battles which is to 
be to them a sorrowful joy or dead despair — of all the painful, terrible, magnifi- 
cent things which go to make up war. 

For a number of years after the first settlement, a few old soldiers of the 
Revolution, who lived in the county, were honored on Independence Day, put 
on the platforms and cheered for their services, but all these had long since 
passed away, and were slumbering among the dead in peace. There were, 
besides, a few survivors of that later and less heroic war of 1812, who could tell 
some stories of old-time bravery, but these were very few. The Mexican war had 
drawn a few soldiers from the county, and some of its heroes had come into 
the county after the war. But, as we said before, all counted, not more than 
ten had "smelled gunpowder." Indeed, when the first squad of volunteers 
assembled in 1861, there was but one man in the community with sufiicient 
military knowledge to give commands for the simplest maneuvers. This soldier 


was William B. Bingham, who had served in the ranks of an Ohio regiment in 
the Mexican war. 

So it can be seen what a new and before unfelt thrill went through the 
hearts of the people of the county when, in April, 1861, the flag of the nation 
was insulted and outraged at Fort Sumter. A common glow of patriotism 
fired every bosom. Every man, woman and child, possessing a spark of 
heroism, was raised from a devotion to little things into a higher life of conse- 
cration to an idea — the preservation of the nation — a tumult of emotions, before 
unfelt and undreamed of. Indignation at the insult to that flag, which then 
for the first time, began to have a significance ; apprehensions of the perils to 
happy homes ; duty's call to the front ; the restraining thought of death and 
sorrow — all these swarmed in the minds of the men. The hearts of mothers 
and wives sank, at first, in anguish at the sight of the portentous cloud coming 
over the sky, but soon rose with a sublime patriotism which taught them that 
no sacrifice was too costly for the altar of our country. 

t3n the 15th of April, 1861, President Lincoln called for 75,000 militia, 
and on the next day Gov. Morton issued his proclamation for the organiza- 
tion of six regiments, the quota of Indiana. The first paper published in 
La Grange after this, contained a call for a public meeting at the court house, 
" to which all Union-loving citizens, irrespective of party affiliation in the past," 
were invited to take action for the " organization of a military company, and 
for aiding and assisting the families of those who may volunteer." At the 
meeting, the court house was filled to its utmost capacity. John Kromer, an 
old citizen, and a soldier of 1812, presided. Nathan P. Osborne and Samuel 
Sprague acted as Vice Presidents, and C. 0. Myers and A. B. Kennedy as 
Secretaries. The Committee on Resolutions were A. S. Case, Harley Crocker, 
Dr. F. P. Griffith, Dr. J. H. Rerick, Thomas J. Skeer and Alexander B. 
Kennedy. The resolutions reported were unanimously adopted, and were as 
follows : 

Whereas, We deplore the circumstances which have inaugurated civil war and brought 
the people of a portion of the South in conflict with the General Government of the United States ; 

Resolved, That it is the duty of all patriotic citizens, irrespective of party names and dis- 
tinctions, ignoring, for the present, all past dissensions and party bitterness, to unite as one 
people, in support of the Government of the United States. 

Resolved, That we are unalterably attached to the government of the United States, and 
will yield to it an ardent and firm support against all its enemies ; pledging to each other our 
lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. 

James M. Flagg and Hon. Robert Parrett made patriotic speeches. Mr. 
Flagg recalled the words of Jeff'erson, that about once in thirty years the tree 
of liberty must be watered with human blood. The time for such a sacrifice, 
he said, was at hand. Acts, not words, are now necessary. Mr. Parrett elo- 
quently and feelingly argued that it was a time when all former issues should 
be laid aside — the only questions now being, union or disunion. Mr. Andrew 


Ellison was called upon, who, speaking in a candid manner, said his sentiments 
were not wholly in accord with the previous speakers, but that he was a citizen 
of the Republic, and acknowledged his allegiance to it, and proposed to stand 
by its laws under all circumstances and contingencies. William S. Boyd thought 
there had been talking enough, and proposed that steps be at once taken for 
the organization of a company, whereupon John H. Rerick drew from his 
pocket an enlistment paper already prepared, which was read, approved, 
and enlistment at once commenced. William Cummings, William Selby and 
John Kromer were appointed a committee for soliciting contributions for the 
families of those who should enlist. 

This was the first war meeting ever held in the county. Others quickly 
followed — one at Lima on the 23d, addressed by Hon. J. B. Howe, Revs. Far- 
rand and Cory, and another at Wolcottville on the same day, presided over by 
A. J. Atwood, with L. L. Wildman, as Secretary, and Dr. Martin, 0. B. Tay- 
lor and Henry Youngs as committee on resolutions. These demanded a prompt 
and vigorous execution of the Federal laws, the retaking of the forts, arsenals 
and other public property seized by the rebels, and that the insult to the United 
States by the so-called Confederacy in attacking Fort Sumter was one that 
should be redressed, if it was necessary to use the entire military strength of 
the American people. At these meetings, volunteers were added to the list and 
contributions made for their families. On May 1, a meeting was held at South 
Milford, presided over by John Bartlett. with R. Smith as Secretary. It was 
addressed by Francis Henry and George Rowe. The committee on resolutions 
were Francis Henry, E. Stockwell, Dr. J. Dancer, L. Blackmun and George 
Bartlett. The resolutions reported and adopted differed slightly in tone from 
those adopted at the other meetings, and we present them here, in order that 
the different shades of feeling at the time may be represented : 

Resolved, That we will sustain the Constitution of the United States of America, and 
uphold the authorities thereof in sustaining the laws and protecting the flag of our country 
from our enemies, both North and South. 

Resolved, That we have no sympathy with the Secessionists of the South, nor the Aboli- 
tionists of the North, and that we hold them responsible for the present distracted condition of 
the country. 

Resolved, That we recommend every good citizen to consider calmly and dispassionately 
our present condition, and that we will hail with joy an early and honorable peace, and if 
peace cannot be brought about, that we prosecute the war with the utmost vigor to a final end. 

A committee was appointed to devise the best method of organizing a 
military company and reported, recommending that the Secretary open his 
books for immediate enrollment, which was done, and some names were entered. 
On May 4, another meeting was held at La Grange, " for the purpose of hold- 
ing a council of war," as the chronicler of that day put it. The crowd gath- 
ered in the court-yard and was addressed by J. B. Wade, A. Ellison and Roman 
Mills. On Mr. Wade's suggestion, the meeting voted that the county should 
pay the expenses of the volunteers while at home. Roman Mills said he had 


two sons already in the company and two more to spare, and would go himself 
if necessary. The company which had been drilling under Maj. Bingham 
made an exhibition of their skill ; there was martial music, firing of cannon, 
the "Marseillaise," and "Red, White and Blue." Thus the attention of the 
people was directed to the enlistment. The paper was kept by Dr. J. H. 
Rerick at Betts & Rerick's drug store, and as fast as men made up their minds 
to enlist, and could arrange their business, they came in, signed this paper, 
and went into the ranks for drill. About the 1st of May, William Roy, a 
young man who had just finished a five years' service in the regular army, 
came to La Grange to visit his relatives, and being fresh in military tactics and 
discipline, at once became the most important personage in the community. 
As soon as the volunteers heard of his presence in town, he was sent for and 
requested to give the boys a touch of the " regular's " drill. With form erect 
and the quick, firm step of the trained soldier, he was soon at their front, and, 
at the first command of "front face," the humble regular private, William 
Roy, was transferred into a Captain of volunteers. Spectators and volunteers 
were alike elated, but hardly any more so than the drill-master, Mr. Bingham, 
who immediately tendered his cane, then the only instrument of authority, and 
turned the command over to the new-comer. 

The organization of the company was completed in a few days, and in- 
formation of the fact forwarded to the authorities at Indianapolis. When pub- 
lic indignation for rebels ran so high as it did then, and a furious and speedy 
overthrow was anticipated, it was not strange that the most terrific names 
should be suggested for company titles. In obedience to this prevalent feeling, 
our first military organization assumed the belligerent cognomen of the " La 
Grange Tigers." A less ferocious title would have given satisfaction a few 
months after, without any discredit to true courage and patriotism. " Home 
Guards," subsequently, under the influence of the declaration of a great party 
that the war was a failure, was equally significent of public opinion. The first 
enlistment paper, referred to above, is still carefully preserved. All who 
signed, did not at that time enter the service, but nearly all did within a few 
months. The following is a copy of the obligation to which the volunteers, 
one hundred and two in number, put their signatures : 

La Grange, Ind., April 1, 1861. 

The undersigned hereby agree to organize themselves into a Volunteer Military Company, 
in accordance with the statutes of the State of Indiana, and to be at the service and command 
of the Governor thereof, whenever in his opinion the exigencies of the country demand, for the 
term of three mouths from date of reception for duty. They also agree, when the requisite 
number (84) of signatures for a company have been obtained, to meet, elect their officers, and 
report for service. 

All this enlistment and preparation for the field had been done without 
any definite arrangement or order from the State authorities. The Governor 
had called for volunteers to fill the State quota, but there was no assurance that 
the " Tigers " would be needed to make up the requisite number. Not 

j'-w -mt 



until the 14th of May did the company receive any orders, and then only in 
an indirect way ; but the boys were eager to go into service, and the intimation 
that they were needed was accepted as sufi&cient. The company was en route 
in an hour or two for Sturgis, where cars were expected to convey them to 
Indianapolis. Many citizens accompanied them — seeing them off — and they 
were met by a Sturgis company and escorted to town. The officers chosen by 
the men, in this first military company, were : Captain, William Roy ; First 
Lieutenant, George A. Lane ; Second Lieutenant, C. M. Burlingame ; Third 
Lieutenant, F. A. Spellman ; First Sergeant, J. A. Lamson ; Second Sergeant, 
J. A. Bevington ; Third Sergeant, Thomas Burnell ; Fourth Sergeant, David 
Dudley ; First Corporal, John F. Varner ; Second Corporal, James Rheu- 
bottom ; Third Corporal, J. A. Hoagland ; Ensign, Andrew J. Fair. 

Upon reaching Indianapolis, the company found companies and regiments 
organized in sufficient number to fill Indiana's quota, and the illusive prospect 
of a ninety days' war then prevailing, no more companies would be received. 
The men were informed that they could disband and go into other companies 
if they could find room, or otherwise return home. About thirty joined other 
companies, and the rest, disheartened, came back. Twenty-one of those who 
entered the service joined Company B, Seventeenth Indiana Infantry, and all, 
with one exception, were credited to Boone County. The names of these men 
were John C. Lamson, Joseph S. Case, Harrison Boyd, Alfred Ci^awford, 
William Christ, Joel Crosby, William H. Crosby, Daniel Flynn, Flavins J. 
George, William P. Hall, Alfred Helper, George M. Helper, Derrick Hodges, 
Orpheus C. Kenaston, Lewis Randolph, Milton E. Scott, William Wiggles- 
worth, Henry Wirt, Robert White, William Baxter. Nine others, James Dever, 
M. Randolph, Franklin Haskins, Jack Springsteed, James Hanson, Charles 
North, Edwin Barnett, James Cassidy, Michael Campbell, joined other regi- 
ments. These thirty men have the honor of being the first volunteers to get 
in the service from this county. Four of those who returned, George A. Lane, 
C. M. Burlingame, F. A. Spellman and J. W. Vesey, went at once to Michi- 
gan and enlisted in the Fourth Regiment ; F. A. Spellman was killed in 

Capt. Roy remained at Indianapolis a few weeks, assisting in the drilling of 
the troops assembled, and then returned to this county and commenced the organ- 
ization of a company for the three years' service. A large number of those who 
first enlisted rallied around him at once, and the balance necessary for the 
company were obtained at Ligonier and Goshen. This new company reached 
Indianapolis July 2, 1861, and was mustered in as Company A of the 
Twenty -first Indiana Regiment July 20. Those who went into this company 
from this county were Capt. William Roy; Sergts. John A. Bevington, Har- 
vey B. Hall, Lewis Apple ; Corpls. James R. Rheubottom, Joseph W. Talmage, 
Alfred Sargeant, George A. Lane ; and Privates Alfred E. Charter, Thomas 
Cole, Benjamin F. Culbertson, Enoch R. Culbertson, Bennice Dryer, Perry 


0. Everts, Harvey J. Gillette, John Hone, William Harrison, Charles Haskins, 
Simon Humbert, James Ingram, Jonathan Irish, Thaddeus P. Jackson, Albert 
N. Johnson, Isaac Knight, Oscar Law, David E. Markham, Luther F. Mason, 
Leonard N. McLain, Adam W. Meek, James Nash, Harvej Olmstead, William 
H. Paulius, Enoch Perkins, DeWitt M. Pierce, Andrew J. Ritter, George J. 
Robbins, Daniel Smith, Peter Smith, Halsey F. Skadden, Edwin R. Temple, 
George W. Vanormin, William B. Warren, Ira J. Woodworth. 

This latter company had hardly gone away before another company was 
begun. A notice was issued to join in the organization of this by William B. 
Bingham, July 2. While the company was being recruited, William Dawson, 
of Indianapolis, who had just returned from the three months' service, came to 
La Grange, and was invited to take charge of the drilling of the men. At the 
election of officers he was chosen Captain. This company was quartered 
toward the last mostly at Lima, whose citizens contributed blankets, clothing, 
etc., for the comfort of the boys, and also $130, to provide the men with red 
flannel shirts, with which to march into camp. Donations were also made by 
citizens of La Grange and elsewhere. The company set out for the Fort 
Wayne camp on the 13th of September, but before leaving, it was presented 
with a flag by the patriotic women of Lima. Before presenting the flag. Miss 
Rebecca Williams made the following address : 

Capt. Dawson — In behalf of Lima's patriotic daughters, I present to you, and through 
you, to our brave volunteers, this glorious banner of liberty, this flag of the free, proud emblem 
of our National existence and of our National power. To your care it is henceforth entrusted. 
It will be yours fearlessly to maintain its honor, and with it the honor of our cause and country; 
to preserve it from insult at the hands of foes and traitors, even, if need be, at the cost of dear 
life. Fighting beneath its shadow, your courage is to be tested, your valor displayed, your 
laurels won. And you shall tight, not for yourselves alone, but for the privilege of transmitting 
to the future generations a Government the noblest, a Constitution the wisest, a Liberty the 
sweetest, that ever blest a fair land since creation's dawn. 

I scarcely need refer you to the story of our past ; you know full well the story of 
American independence ; how, long years ago, through fierce and bloody conflicts, our fathers 
marched to glorious victory, the Stars and Stripes floating triumphantly over them ; how, 
wrapped in the shining folds of this same beautiful banner, many a Revolutionary hero lies 
quietly 'neath the daisied sods of a thousand pleasant valleys. The peace so highly prized, so 
dearly purchased by our ancestors, bestowed by them upon their children, a precious legacy, to 
be handed down in turn to those who should come after, they fondly trusted might never again 
be imperiled. Save a few dark clouds across the bright sun, naught for many years has 
occurred to dim the clear sky of our National prosperity. We have boasted loudly of the 
strength of our Union, cemented by bonds of love, of peace, and happiness at home ; of power 
and influence abroad. Alas! that our hands folded so lightly in calm assurance of fair winds 
and smooth seas, did not, by God's help, sooner seize the helm of our noble ship of state, and 
with firm grasp guide her 'mid threatening storms and tempests to a quiet harbor. Alas ! that 
our ears attuned only to music, which plays softest around the hearthstone, from the lips of little 
children, or in kindly tones of friendship greeting, should be assailed by the distant mutterings 
of the cannon's thunder, whispers of the dread strife already commenced in our land. You will 
go forth, erelong, with thousands, to taste the stern realites of life upon the battle-field. Be 
assured our warmest sympathies and most fervent prayers will always follow you. Live nobly 
up to every duty, face bravely every danger, look well that the spirit of true patriotism prompts 
every action, and never, for one moment, let a thouglit of petty revenge or cruel hatred dwell in 


year brave hearts. And, in that good time coming, when right and humanity shall triumph, 
when peace shall once more be restored and secured to us, God grant you may return, an un- 
bioken number, to rejoice with us ever more in the blessings of an eternal liberty. 

After an eloquent reply on behalf of the company, by the Rev. B. Far- 
rand, Mr. F. C. King made an unexpected presentation from the ladies of La 
Grange, of a Testament to each soldier, and accompanied the gift with these 
remarks : 

Brave Volunteers — As a slight token of your noble spirit, we could not present you a 
gift more precious in its teachings, or more costly as containing hidden treasures than the Word 
of God. In it is contained precepts and examples, that will prepare you, not only for good and 
faithful soldiers of our country, but also of the cross, and as you go forth to fight your country's 
battles, will teach you to fight the good fight of faith. Read it, love it, and obey its holy teach- 
ing, and in your own experience may you have it to say : 

"This little book I'd rather have 
Than all the golden gems 
That in a monarch's coffer shine, 
Than all their diadems." 

The original officers selected by the men were : Captain, William Dawson ; 
First Lieutenant, Ebenezer R. Barlow ; Second Lieutenant, Thomas Burnell ; 
Orderly, George Salpaugh. The company was assigned to the Thirtieth Reg- 
iment, as Company G. The formation of this company had not been com- 
pleted before another had been begun again, under the leadership of William 
B. Bingham. On October 17, 1861, this company was ready to start for camp 
at Fort Wayne, where a large concourse of citizens met at the court house to 
see them start, and bid them Godspeed. The Standard of that week says : 
" Capt. Bingham formed his company on Main street and marched them to the 
Methodist Church, where, in behalf of the company, he thanked the ladies who 
had so kindly furnished them with many of the necessaries of camp life ; and 
the company joined in three hearty cheers for the fair donors. In return the 
ladies gave three cheers for the soldiers. We have seldom witnessed a more 
enthusiastic or spirited occasion. The company was then marched to the south 
part of town, where wagons were in waiting to convey them on their journey. 
There was no lack of teams and many more were offered than was necessary. 
Quite a number of our citizens accompanied them as far as Wright's Corners, where 
they took dinner, and reported, having been furnished by the citizens of that vil- 
lage and vicinity with a most bountiful repast, free to all. Five or six volun- 
teers were enlisted at that place, and Capt. Bingham went into camp with a 
full company." 

The ladies of La Grange presented each of the soldiers, before starting, 
with a neat and serviceable blue woolen Zouave jacket, trimmed with velvet. 
On the road to Fort Wayne the company held an election, with the following 
result : Captain, William B. Bingham ; First Lieutenant, Joseph W. Danseur ; 
Second Lieutenant, Jacob Newman ; Orderly Sergeant, Hiram F. King. Capt. 
Bingham returned home the next week for a few days, when a meeting was 
called at the court house (October 25) for the purpose of presenting him wiih 


a sword that had been purchased by the citizens, in demonstration of their 
high regard, and as an appropriate token of their confidence in him as a soldier. 

A. B. Kennedy, Esq., made the presentation speech, which was responded to 
by the Captain, thanking the donors for the elegant and significant present, 
and pledged his honor that the weapon should never be dishonored whilst in 
his possession. Patriotic songs were sung and short speeches made by 
Revs. D. P. Hartman and Cathcart. This company became Company 
H. of the Forty-fourth Indiana Infantry. No more companies were organ- 
ized in the county in the year 1861, but numbers of men volunteered 
from time to time to fill up the ranks of these companies, and other com- 
mands. Dr. J. H. Rerick enlisted in Capt Dawson's company, but before 
its muster-in he was appointed Assistant Surgeon of the Forty-fourth Indi- 
ana, and commissioned September 12, 1861, and assisted in the organization 
of that regiment. There was up to this time about three hundred enlist- 
ments from the county. Such a number called forth suddenly to war, by a 
Oovernment illy prepared to furnish a vast army, and from communities horror 
stricken at the idea of bloody strife, could but cause intense anxiety in the homes 
the volunteers had left. Soldiers' aid societies, especially by the women, sprung 
5ap, for supplying the soldiers with bedding, clothing and daintier food. On 
the 1st of November, 1861, a Ladies' Soldier's Aid Society was regularly organ- 
ized at La Grange, adopting a Constitution and By-Laws, and the ladies in all 
the townships were requested to form auxiliary societies. The officers elected 
at this meeting were : Mrs. John Kromer, President ; Mrs. W. Cathcart, Vice 
President ; Mrs. Laura Butler, Secretary ; Mrs. C. 0. Myers, Treasurer ; a 
committee consisting of Mrs. John W. Welch, Mrs. Isaac Carpenter, Mrs. 
Fred Everhart, Miss M. A. H. Menelaus, Miss H. Ford, Miss S. Lougher, and 
Directresses — Mrs. F. C. King, Mrs. D. P. Hartman, Mrs. A. Ellison. 

A number of Union meetings were held during the summer and fall. 
One was held at the court house on the evening of the 21st of August, which 
was addressed by Hon. William Mitchell, then Member of Congress from the 
district, and who had witnessed the first Bull Run battle. Rev. C. Cory, of 
Lima, presided at this meeting and J. H. Rerick acted as Secretary, and Joseph 

B. Wade, A. B. Kennedy and Joseph Cummings as Committee on Resolutions. 
The resolutions requested the County Commissioners to provide for quartering 
the troops and to make appropriations for the maintenance of the families of 
volunteers, that a committee of five be appointed to canvass the county for 
promoting enlistments, and that Lieut. William Dawson, of Col. Wallace's 
famous regiment, be requested to remain and aid in raising and drilling a com- 
pany. The committee appointed to canvass the county were J. B. Wade, Jacob 
Newman, William Barlow, Hiram Smith and Rev. J. P. Force. The next 
^evening, a similar meeting was held in Lima, at which Rev. C. Cory again 
presided and J. S. Castle acted as Secretary. The Committee on Resolutions — 
O. H. Jewett, J. M. Flagg and J. P. Force — reported strong war resolutions 


and requested the County Commissioners to provide for soldiers' families. A 
committee, consisting of W. Rawles, J. H. Morrison, N. Stacy, 0. H. Jewett 
and S. Herbert, was appointed to canvass the northern part of the county. 

We wish it Avere possible to give due credit to all who took an active in- 
terest in patriotic work at home during the war. The names we have mentioned 
are those most frequently occurring in the newspapers at that time. It is also 
impossible to now compute the contributions by the women for the comfort of 
the soldiers — of blankets, clothing, fruits and hospital stores ; almost as impos- 
sible as it would be to estimate the value to our country of the effect of these 
tokens of kind regard upon the weary and disheartened soldier at the front. As 
a sample of the donations made there were reported by the Ladies' Soldiers' 
Aid Society November 28, 1861, besides membership fees and articles manu- 
factured by the society, two comforts, forty -four pairs of socks, four quilts, four 
blankets, three sheets, one pair drawers, two pair mittens and forty-two cuts 
of yarn, and $10 cash. There were other aid societies organized by the women 
of Lima and Wolcottville. A mass meeting was held at La Grange on Wash- 
ington's birthday, 1862, in which a long series of resolutions were passed, ex- 
pressing appreciation of the wisdom and energy of the President, and resolving 
to ever cherish the memory of the slain on the battle-field and of those perish- 
ing in the camp or on the mighty ocean, and expressing sympathy for loyal and 
oppressed citizens within the limits of the Confederate conspiracy. 

In July, 1862, under another call for troops, enlistment was commenced 
in the county for a company for the Seventy-fourth regiment, ordered to be 
raised in this Congressional district. Dr. Gustav Sites, who had had twelve- 
years' service in the Prussian Army, and Albert D. Fobes, who had been through 
the West Virginia campaign, in the Eleventh Indiana, were commissioned Sec- 
ond Lieutenants for the organization of the company. Jo Rawson Webster, a 
then recent graduate from Wabash College, was the first man to put his name 
down for the wars in this company, and took a very active part in organizing the 
company. A war meeting was held at La Grange July 19, presided over by 
John Kromer, with C. 0. Myers, Secretary, and J. B. Wade, A. S. Case and 
F. P. Griffith, Committee. The meeting was addressed by William Rheubot- 
tom and J. R. Webster. The resolutions recognized the perils of the country 
as alarming and pledged every means within reach to aid the Government, and 
that it was the duty of those who could not peril their lives in the cause to con- 
tribute every dollar, to yield every sympathy, and to open their hearts fully 
to every emotion which may commend them to the cause of their suffering 
country, its defenders and their families. The Commissioners were requested 
to make appropriations for the payment of bounties and for the necessary ex- 
penses of the families of soldiers. There was, at that time, some recruiting 
being done for the Twelfth Cavalry. The meeting recommended that all efforts 
be concentrated on raising a company for the infantry regiment and that Lieut. 
Sites proceed at once to raise the company. The following were appointed a 


committee to assist him : J. K. Morrow, J. B. Wade, William Rheubottom, H. 
Crocker and A. S. Case. The County Commissioners, a few days after, made 
an appropriation of $25 to each volunteer, and $1.50 per week for the wife and 
75 cents for each child of the married men who might enlist until their muster-in. 
An enthusiastic war meeting was held at South Milford August 14, at which 
L. D. McGown presided and J, S. Rowe was Secretary. The meeting was ad- 
dressed by William Rheubottom, J. Z. Gower and Francis Henry. The latter 
urged the enlistment of men and favored the drafting of a million of men, if 
necessary, to put down the rebellion and restore peace on a constitutional basis. 
This meeting recommended that the county give the same bounty to cavalry 
volunteers as to infantry. In consequence of this agitation, the La Grange 
Standard of Angnat 18, 1862, was enabled to announce: "One hundred and 
twenty-two cheers and a tiger for Old La Grange. La Grange has her company 
now full and it will start to-day for the rendezvous at Fort Wayne. Last 
Thursday she sent seventeen men to join the cavalry company at the same 
place, making in all one hundred and twenty-two men ! From Friday morning 
to Wednesda}"^ evening — five working days — eighty men were enrolled and 
sworn in. The entire number, with two exceptions, were recruited in eleven 
days. We call that doing well." And indeed it was. The officers chosen by 
the men for their company were — Captain, Jo Rawson Webster; First Lieuten- 
ant, W. D. Wildman ; Orderly Sergeant, James H. Bigelow. The departure 
of this company was described as a very affecting scene. At an early hour the 
volunteers and their friends poured into town by hundreds, and at 9 o'clock the 
streets were thronged with men, women and children, all with eager, anxious 
faces, and many indeed were the tears shed. "The heaving breast, the quiver- 
ing lip and starting tear of brave men and stout hearts as the last fond embrace 
was given to the wife and children of the men who had voluntarily consented 
to sever for a season all the endearing ties and comforts of home for the hard- 
ships of the tented field showed that, severe as the sacrifice might be, yet they 
dared to do their duty when their country was in danger and required their 
assistance." A large number of citizens went with the soldiers as far as Wol- 
cottville, where a grand picnic dinner had been prepared. It should not be 
forgotten that during the war there was no railroad through the county and all 
the companies which had their rendezvous at Fort Wayne had to march there 
on foot or be transported by wagon. The above company, when reaching Fort 
Wayne, was made Company G of the Eighty-eighth Regiment. 

The same paper in which the exultant announcement of raising of the 
above company was made contained the proclamation of the President calling 
for 300,000 more troops, and the rather startling announcement that in this 
State a draft would be required to raise the men, and a commendation of that 
as the only just and equitable method of raising the required quota. " The 
county has done nobly in raising volunteers, but a continuance of that course 
cannot be carried on without doing great injustice to a certain class upon whose 


shoulders a part of the burden must be forced, if they will not carry it will- 
ingly. No more volunteering in La Grange ! Let there be a draft as soon as 
possible !" Such comments as this only stirred up the volunteering spirit the 
more, and Harley Crocker at once stepped forward and called for volunteers 
for another company, and active work for this at once set in. 

The machinery for drafting was at once put in motion. Timothy Fields, 
of Ontario, was appointed Draft Commissioner; E. P. Spellman, Provost Mar- 
shal, and Dr. E. G. White, Medical Examiner, for the county. About the 
same time, recruiting officers for the Thirtieth and Forty-fourth Regiments 
were in the county selecting recruits for those regiments. With all these, the 
people were fairly aroused. A Union County Convention was held September 
3, presided over by William S. Pi-entiss, in which it was resolved to " uphold 
the Government in the use of every means which God and the Constitution 
have placed within our reach to exterminate rebels and the rebellion, and in 
favor of the confiscation of all property of all rebels, North as well as South." 
There was about this time a spicy correspondence between four then promi- 
nent lawyers in the county about enlisting, though it is hardly proper to 
detail here. The State Commissioner, on September 22, 1862, notified the 
County Commissioners that the following numbers would have to be drafted 
from the townships named, unless made up at once by volunteers : Clear- 
spring, 8 ; Milford, 7 ; Eden, 9 ; Van Buren, 22 ; total, 46. Thirty-one were 
subsequently drafted, twelve of whom procured substitutes. The most of 
these men went into the Thirtieth Regiment. 

Capt. Crocker's company was soon filled, and on the 27th of September, 
the day of their departure, were treated by the women of La Grange to a 
bountiful dinner, on the grounds of A. S. Case, now a portion of the public 
square. No company left for camp without some token of respect by the 
patriotic women of the county. For this last company also, the young ladies 
of La Grange arranged a "hop," which was well attended, and when the boys 
reached South Milford, the women of that neighborhood had spread a picnic 
dinner for them. The officers chosen by the men in this company were : Cap- 
tain, Harley Crocker ; First Lieutenant, John K. Morrow ; Second Lieutenant, 
James W. Boyd. The company was assigned to the One Hundredth Infantry, 
as Company C. Of this regiment, Robert Parrett, a prominent lawyer of the 
county, was appointed Major. Dr. D. W. Rupert, of Lexington, was ap- 
pointed Assistant Surgeon of the Thirtieth, on January 1. He was an excel- 
lent physician and as a man highly esteemed by his regiment and a large circle 
of acquaintances in the county. He died at Nashville, Tenn., October 2, 
1862. Dr. James Miller, of La Grange, was appointed to succeed him Octo- 
ber 10. 

The year 1863 was the most discouraging for the Union cause of all the 
years of the war. Its influence was felt in La Grange County, but not to so great 
an extent as in other parts of the country. The differences between the parties 


widened, and bitterness of feeling was somewhat increased. A Union mass meet- 
ing was held at the court house February 21, Col. Jonathan Edgecomb, of 
Lima, President, with A. B. Kennedy and C. 0. Myers, Secretaries. The meet- 
ing was addressed by Col. Charles Case, in strong and eloquent words. The 
Committee on Resolutions, A. S. Case, Rufus Patch, Dr. A. M. Spaulding, 
George Lotterer, J. M. Flagg and L. L. Wildman, reported a series of long 
resolutions, condemning secession, every scheme and intrigue to impair the 
confidence of the people in the administration, declaring in favor of confisca- 
tion of the property of those in armed rebellion, and of those who gave aid 
and comfort to it ; approving the emancipation proclamation as a military neces- 
sity, and the arming of liberated slaves ; expressing admiration of the soldiers 
in the field, and heartily indorsing Gov. 0. P. Morton. The seventh resolution 
was as follows : 

Resolved, That for the purpose and to the end of restoring our country to its former position 
of prosperity and greatness, we are ready to postpone every consideration which provides for 
political party triumphs, until the Union is restored — the rebellion is crushed by the power of 
the Government it has defied ; and to this end we do hereby pledge ourselves, individually and 
collectively, by our love of country, by our love of liberty, for the sake of ourselves and poster- 
ity, in the name of our venerated ancestors, in the name of the human family, deeply interested 
in the trust committed to our hands, by all the past glory we have won, by all that awaits us as 
a nation, if we are true to ourselves, true to the principles of justice and humanity, and true 
and faithful in gratitude to Him who has hitherto so signally blessed us, to stand firmly by the 
Constitution and the Union, never wavering, never faltering ; that we will cherish with a deep 
and abiding love and affection the sentiments of Massachusetts' immortal statesman, that senti- 
ment dear to every true American heart, " Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and insep- 
arable. " 

On the 28th of February, a Democratic mass meeting was held at La 
Grange, at which Francis Henry presided, and G. W. Weyburn and A. Cone 
acted as Secretaries, and A. Ellison, Hawley Peck, John A. Bartlett, William 
Roderick, James Kennedy, Harvey Olmstead and John Kromer acted as Com- 
mittee on Resolutions. This meeting was addressed by Hon. J. R. Edgerton, 
then Member of Congress for the district. The resolutions reported and adopt- 
ed denounced the heresy of secession, favored the inauguration of such action 
honorable alike to contending sections as will stop the ravages of war, avert uni- 
versal bankruptcy, and unite all the States upon terms of equality, " as mem- 
bers of one confederacy," condemned the action of the Federal Government in 
suspending the habeas corpus, arresting of citizens not subject to military duty 
without warrant or authority, abridging the freedom of speech and of the press, 
establishing of a system of espionage by a secret police, declaring martial law 
over States not in rebellion, attempting to enforce a compensated emancipation, 
dismembering Virginia ; and expressed sympathy for the soldiers who enlisted 
to sustain the Constitution and the Union, and condemned all frauds that de- 
prived them of " proper food, raiment and clothing." 

Another Union Mass meeting was held at La Grange April 22, in which 
were passed resolutions strongly condemnatory of the " traitorous conduct " of 





a portion of the Indiana Legislature, and all factions opposed to the Federal 
and State authorities. Col. Hawkins, of Tennessee, spoke at this meeting, and 
Dr. A. M. Spaulding presided. 

There was but little volunteering this summer. The agitation was no less, 
but rather greater and more serious, but not of the kind that greatly promoted 
enlistments. Frequent Union meetings were held in different parts of the 
county. Toward fall, active recruiting commenced again. John Q. Reed en- 
listed a number of men for the Seventh Cavalry, and David Bennett commenced 
raising a company for the One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana Infantry, 
which he had mustered in December 16. Hon. J. P. Jones, an old resident of the 
county, who had been elected Clerk of the Supreme Court in 1860, returned 
and assisted in addressing the meetings and promoting enlistments. 

The year 1864 opened more cheerfully ; many veteran soldiers who had 
re-enlisted returned home on a month's furlough, and materially aided in in- 
creasing the enthusiasm for the Union cause. A mass meeting was held at 
La Grange February 13, expressing unabated determination to continue the 
fight. The number of men remaining in the several townships enrolled for 
military service, and the number due from each, in February, was reported as 


Greenfield 155 12 

Lima 191 11 

Van Buren 149 4 

Newbury 161 14 

Clay 134 9 

Bloomfield 244 10 

Springfield 133 4 

Milford 155 13 

Johnson 156 extra, 1 

Clearspring 163 13 

Eden 121 13 

Lieut. Daniel Lieb recruited a number of men for the Twelfth Indiana 
Cavalry early in this year. 

To encourage enlistments, considerable amounts were raised in the several 
townships, voluntarily, as township bounty. In August, the draft officers 
reported 202 men due. A draft soon followed, but how many men were ob- 
tained we have not been able to ascertain. The enlistments this year from 
the county was almost wholly recruiting for old companies. No new organiza- 
tions were made. Dr. Edward B. Speed, of La Grange, an estimable man 
and good physician, was appointed Assistant Surgeon for the Forty-fourth 
Indiana Volunteers, in July, and immediately joined that command at Chatta- 
nooga, Tenn. While on the way, he underwent a severe shock from a railroad 
accident, and was taken sick soon after his arrival. He died in the officers' 
hospital, at Lookout Mountain, September 14. 

Under the December call, 1864, by the President, for " 300,000 more," La 
Grange County was asked to contribute 191. The County Commissioners, in Jan- 


uary, 18G5, ordered a county bounty of $400 to be paid every volunteer who 
should thereafter be accredited to the county, to be paid in two installments, $200 
in fourteen months, and $200 in twenty-eight months, for the payment of which 
county bonds were issued. This action was subsequently endorsed by a 
mass meeting at La Grange, February 3, 1865. In addition to this county 
bounty, the townships raised a large amount to induce volunteers, and save 
them from the draft. John H. Oaton was commissioned Second Lieutenant 
and recruiting officer to raise a company in the county. This company was 
speedily raised and all mustered in during the month of February. It was 
officered by the election of John H. Caton, Captain ; William Hobson, First 
Lieutenant ; and A. Bennett, Second Lieutenant. The company became Com- 
pany F, One Hundred and Fifty-second Regiment. These were the last enlist- 
ments in the county for the rebellion. 

In April came the joyful news of the surrender of Gen. Lee at Appomat- 
tox, which was received with a wonderful joy, and such an abandon of rejoic- 
ing and bonfiring and general reckless noisiness followed for a day or two, as 
has never since been seen or felt in the country. Hardly had the people real- 
ized what they were rejoicing for, when the news came in the evening of the 
14th of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Then no mark of sorrow seemed 
too mournful, and a sincere grief was the last link which was formed in that 
" heroic age " to bind together those who had worked or watched and prayed 
for America. 

Since the rebellion. La Grange has sent one brave o95cer into the National 
army — Lieut. Samuel A. Cherry. Mr. Cherry entered the West Point Acad- 
emy during Grant's first Administration, and, after graduation, entered the serv- 
ice, where he had a brief, but brilliant career, ended by a tragic death on 
the plains. He was a gentleman of many accomplishments, beloved at home, 
and popular in society circles throughout the country. At the time of his 
death, he was betrothed to a daughter of Hon. Harry White, of Indiana, 
Penn. The following order, issued by Col. Merritt, contains a brief sketch of 

Lieut. Cherry's services: 

Headquarters Fifth U. S. Cavalry, i 
Ft. Laramie, W. T., May 17, 188L f 

It is the sad duty of the Commanding Officer of the Fifth Cavalry to announce the sudden 
death of a brilliant young officer of the regiment. Lieut. S. A. Cherry was killed while on duty 
pursuing a party of outlaws, some twenty-five miles north of Fort Niobrara, by a man of his own 
detachment, who, it is supposed, was temporarily insane. This is the only reasonable solution 
of the crime, with the information now possessed. 

Lieut. Cherry was born in Indiana; graduated at the Military Academy in 1875, and was 
promoted to be Second Lieutenant in the Twenty-third Infantry, from which regiment he was 
transferred to the Fifth Cavalry in 1876. He reported to his Regimental Commander in the 
Black Hills, October, 1876, in the latter part of the Sioux campaign of that year, and since that 
time he has served with the regiment with unfrequent interruptions, until the time of his death. 
He was particularly distinguished for cool courage, and distinguished ability in the face of an 
enemy at the battle and subsequent siege of Maj. Thornburg's command, at Milk River, Colo., 
in 1879, for which he received honorable mention in orders, and a vote of thanks of the Terri- 
torial Legislature of Wyoming. The cireer of Lieut. Cherry, tliough brief, has been most honor- 


able, and mark«d by a cheerful, vigorou^ and soldierly discharge of duty. His character was 
mos: free from defects. He made warm friends of all who knew him well, and it is certain he 
never gave cause for the enmity of any one. He was positive, though happy indisposition as a 
man, loyal and devoted as a friend, brave, capable and chivalrous as an officer — one, in short, 
whose sad death will long be felt in the regiment as an irreparable loss in every way. As a 
mark of respect, the guidon of the company with which he served will be draped for thirty 
days, and the officers of the regiment will wear the usual badge of mourning for the same 

By order of Col. Wesley Merritt. 

The following are the campaigns in which companies and parts of com- 
panies from the county participated : 

Company B, Seventeenth Regiment — Western Virginia, 1861 ; Kentucky 
and Tennessee, 1862 ; siege of Corinth, 1862 ; pursuit of Bragg, 1862 ; Rose- 
crans' campaign in Tennessee, 1863 ; Chattanooga and East Tennessee, 1863 : 
against Atlanta, 1864 ; Nelson's raid, Alabama and Georgia, 1865. 

Company A, Twenty-first Regiment, First Heavy Artillery — East Mary- 
land and East Virginia, 1861 ; against New Orleans, 1862 ; Baton Rouge and 
Teche, 1862 ; against Port Hudson, 1863; West Louisiana, 1863; Red River, 
1864; against Mobile, 1865; Louisiana and Gulf Coast, 1865. 

Company G, Thirtieth Regiment Infantry — Kentucky, 1861; Tennessee 
and Kentucky, 1862 ; siege of Corinth, 1862 ; pursuit of Bragg, 1862 ; Rose- 
crans' campaign in Tennessee, 1863 ; against Atlanta, 1864 ; pursuit of Hood, 
1864 ; East Tennessee, 1865 ; Texas, 1865. 

Company H, Forty-fourth Indiana Infantry — Western Kentucky, 1861; 
Tennessee and Kentucky, 1862; siege of Corinth, 1862; pursuit of Bragg, 
1862 ; Rosecrans' campaign in Tennessee, 1863 ; against Chattanooga, 1863 ; 
East Tennessee, 1864-65. 

Company G, Eighty-eighth Indiana Infantry — Against Kii'by Smith, 
Kentucky, 1862 ; Kentucky and Tennessee, 1862 ; pursuit of Bragg, 1862 ; 
Rosecrans' campaign in Tennessee, 1863 ; against Atlanta, 1864 ; pursuit of 
Hood, 1864 ; Sherman's march to the sea, 1864 ; through the Carolinas, 1865. 

Company C, One Hundredth Indiana Infantry — West Tennessee and 
North Mississippi, 1862-63 ; against Vicksburg, 1863 ; relief of Chattanooga, 

1863 ; East Tennessee, 1863 ; against Atlanta, 1864 ; pursuit of Hood, 1864 ; 
Sherman's march to the sea, 1864 ; through the Carolinas, 1865. 

Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Infantry — East Tennessee, 

1864 ; against Atlanta, 1864 ; pursuit of Hood, 1864 ; North Carolina, 1865. 
Company G, One Hundred and Fifty-second Infantry — Shenandoah 

Valley, 1865 ; West Virginia, 1865. 

One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Regiment (Twelfth Cavalry) — Ten- 
nessee and North Alabama, 1864-65; against Mobile, 1865; Alabama and 
Mississippi, 1865. 

There were soldiers from the county in the Eastern campaigns of the 
Army of the Potomac, but the records are unobtainable, they being mostly in 
regiments from other States. 


If our space would permit, we would be pleased to record the name of 
every soldier who enlisted from this county, in the service of his country dur- 
ing the rebellion. This not being practicable, it may not be improper to give 
the names of those who attained to oflScial position, and their rank. With few 
exceptions, all these entered the service as privates. It will be seen that the 
county is entirely destitute of Colonels and Brigadier Generals, a somewhat ex- 
ceptionable condition. But the county having filled the ranks with good fight- 
ing men to an honorable extent, the lack of Brigadiers is not sorely felt. 

Lieutenant Colonels — Joseph R. Webster, Forty-fourth United States Col- 
ored Troops ; William Roy, Twenty-first Indiana. 

Majors — Joseph R. Webster, Eighty-eighth Indiana Volunteers ; Robert 
Parrett, One Hundredth Regiment; Ichabod S. Jones, First Tennessee Artil- 
lery, Colored; W. B. Bingham, Forty-fourth Indiana; William Roy, Twenty- 
first Indiana. 

Surgeons (rank of Major) — John H. Rerick, Forty-fourth Indiana Volun- 

Captains — John C. Lamson, Company B, Seventeenth Indiana ; William 
Roy, Company A, Twenty-first Regiment ; William Dawson, Company G, 
Thirtieth Indiana; James McPreston, Company G, Thirtieth Indiana; Will- 
iam B. Bingham, Company H, Forty-fourth Indiana ; Jacob Newman, Compa- 
ny H, Forty-fourth Indiana ; Joseph H. Danseur, Company H, Forty-fourth 
Indiana ; Hiram F. King, Company H, Forty-fourth Indiana ; Samuel P. 
Bradford, Company H, Forty-fourth Indiana ; Joseph R. Webster, Company 
G, Eighty-eighth Indiana ; John M. Preston, Company G, Eighty-eighth Indi- 
ana ; William D. Wildman, Company I, Eighty-eighth Indiana ; Harley 
Crocker, Company C, One Hundredth Indiana ; Edward Fobes, Company C,. 
One Hundredth Indiana ; John B. Pratt, Company C, One Hundredth Indi- 
ana ; David Bennett, Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana ;. 
John H. Caton, Company F, One Hundred and Fifty-second Indiana. 

First Lieutenants — Harvey B. Hall, Company A, Twenty-first ; Ebenezer 
R. Barlow, Company B, Thirtieth ; George L. Salpaugh, Company G, Thirti- 
eth ; James McPreston, Company G, Thirtieth ; William H. Hall, Company 
G, Thirtieth ; Joseph H. Danseur, Company H, Forty-fourth ; Hiram F. 
King, Company H, Forty-fourth ; Daniel P. Strecker. Company H, Forty- 
fourth ; Hiram Pontius, Company H, Forty-fourth ; William D. Wildman, 
Company G, Eighty-eighth ; Jacob Sperow, Company G, Eighty-eighth ;. 
James W. Boyd, Company C, One Hundredth ; Edward Fobes, Company C, 
One Hundredth ; John B. Pratt, Company C, One Hundredth ; Samuel W. 
Dille, Company C, One Hundredth ; George I. Tuttle, Company C, Twelfth 
Cavalry, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Regiment ; Garner Sisemore, same ; 
Horace Hamlin, Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Regiment; 
William H. Atchinson, Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth ; Henry 


M. Kromer, Company G, One Hundred and Forty-second ; William Hobson, 
Company F, One Hundred and Fifty-second, 

Assistant Surgeons (rank, First Lieutenants of Cavalry) — John H. 
Rerick, Forty-fourth; James Miller, Thirtieth Indiana Volunteers; Edward 

B. Speed, Forty-fourth ; Newton G. Eno, Eighty-eighth ; Delos W. Rupert, 
Thirtieth Indiana. 

Acting Assistant Surgeons, United States Army — Edward G. White, 
Charles J. Montgomery. 

Quartermaster (rank, First Lieutenant) — Samuel P. Bradford, Forty- 
fourth Indiana ; John M. Littlefield, Twelfth Cavalry, One Hundred and 
Twenty-seventh Regiment ; James McPreston, One Hundred and Fifty-second 

Second Lieutenants — William S. Sraurr, Company H, Twenty-first Regi- 
ment ; Harvey B. Hall, Company A, Twenty-first ; Thomas Burnell, Company 
G, Thirtieth ; James McPreston, Company Gr, Thirtieth ; William H. H. Day, 
Company G, Thirtieth ; William H. Wall, Company G, Thirtieth ; Jacob New- 
man, Company H, Forty-fourth; Daniel P. Strecker, Company H, Forty 
fourth; Sebastian Shoup, Company H, Forty-fourth ; Albert D. Fobes, Com- 
pany G, Eighty- eighth; John M. Preston, Company G, Eighty-eighth; James 
W.- Boyd, Company C, One Hundredth ; Ichabod S. Jones, Company E, One 
Hundredth ; John Q. Reed, Company D, One Hundred and Nineteenth ; Lo- 
renzo Taylor, Company C, Twelfth Cavalry, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh 
Regiment ; James F. Parsons, same ; Charles 0. Higbee, same ; William H. 
Atchinson, Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth; Charles Collins,- 
Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth ; Plimpton Hoagland, Company 

C, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth ; James H. Beecher, Company H, One 
Hundred and Twenty-ninth ; Simon Bowman, Company I, One Hundred and 
Twenty-ninth; Clark A. Bennett, Company F, One Hundred and Fifty- 
second ; Samuel Shepardson, Company G, Thirtieth ; Martin Whitmer, Com- 
pany G, Thirtieth. 


On giving this list, we beg our readers to remember that it is compiled 
from the Adjutant General's Report of the State, and includes only those 
reported on the muster rolls as having been killed or having died while in the 
service. There are many who died soon after discharge, and have since died of 
disease contracted in the service, who would worthily be entitled to place in the 
list, but there is no official record of these, and it is impossible to obtain all 
their names : 

James Alward, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Jacob Airgood, Seventy-fourth 
Indiana, died ; Reuben Allspaugh, One Hundredth Indiana, died. 

John L. Baugher, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; John A. Bevington, Twenty- 
first Indiana, killed ; John Burridge, Forty-fourth Indiana, died of wounds ; 


Isaac Blough, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Eleazer Blough, Forty-fourth Indiana, 
died ; Jehiel B. Barnes, Eighty-eighth Indiana, killed ; Samuel Booker, Eighty- 
eighth Indiana, died ; James H. Bigelow, Eighty-eighth Indiana, killed ; Will- 
iam S. Budd, Eighty-eighth Indiana, missing ; John J. Blackson, One Hun- 
dredth Indiana, died ; Alfred J. Bennett, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth In- 
diana, died ; Melvin W. Baker, Twelfth Cavalry, died ; James Bendure, 
Twelfth Cavalry, died; Daniel Gr. Bickel, Twelfth Cavalry, died; James W. 
Boyd, Lieutenant, One Hundredth Indiana, died. 

Frederick Cushway, Thirteenth Indiana, died ; John J. Crist, Forty-fourth 
Indiana, died of wounds ; Jacob Coldren, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Henry 
Craft, Forty-fourth Indiana, died; George W. Clark, Forty-fourth Indiana, 
died; Ralph P. Clark, Forty-fourth Indiana, died; Jonathan D. Cummins, 
Eighty-eighth Indiana, missing ; Elisha B. Chapman, Eighty-eighth Indiana, 
died ; George M. Clark, One Hundredth Indiana, died ; Cornelieus Conkling, 
Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Richard Cook, Forty -fourth Indiana, died ; Sol- 
omon H. Chary. One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died; David A. 
Cady, Twenty-first Indiana, died ; Albert Crawford, Seventeenth Indiana, died ; 
Josiah Combes, First Illinois Light Artillery, died ; John V. Curtis, Forty- 
fourth Indiana, killed. 

Bennis Dyer, Twenty-first Indiana, died; George W. Dawson, Thirtieth 
Indiana, died ; Vincent C. Dyamon, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Charles Dick- 
enson, Eighty-eighth Indiana, died ; Alvin D. Doolittle, Eighty-eighth Indi- 
ana, died ; Erastus Dallas, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; 
• Lewis Dwight, Twelfth Cavalry, died. 

Henry M. Eagle, Forty-fourth Indiana, died. 

Enoch Fennell, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; George M. Fish, Forty-fourth In- 
diana, died ; John Freeman, First Illinois Light Artillery, died ; Andrew J. 
Farr, Fourth Michigan, killed. 

John J. Gilson, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Lyman L, Greenman, Thirti- 
eth Indiana, died ; William A. Golden, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Delos 
Greenfield, Eighty-eighth Indiana, killed ; Franklin Gillett, One Hundredth 
Indiana, killed ; Morrison Gunn, Jr., One Hundred and Twenty-ninth, Indi- 
ana, died ; William C. Gill, Twelfth Cavalry, died ; Elmore Green, Eighty- 
eighth Indiana, died ; Augustus A. Galloway, Forty-fourth Indiana, killed. 

Harvey B. Hall, Twenty-first Indiana, died ; Erastus Hubbard, Thirtieth 
Indiana, died ; Franklin Haskins, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Henry C. Ilickock, 
Thirtieth Indiana, killed ; James Hudson, Company G, Thirtieth Indiana, 
died; Andrew J. Hart, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; David Harris, Forty- 
fourth Indiana, died ; Arthur Hayward, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Elias 
Holsinger, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; George Holsinger, Forty-fourth Indi- 
ana, died; W. P. Hodges, Forty-fourth Indiana, died of wounds ; William H. 
Hays, Eighty-eighth Indiana, died ; William Hays, Eighty-eighth Indiana, 
died ; William P. Hunt, One Hundredth Indiana, died ; Henry J. Hall, One 


Hundredth Indiana, died of wounds ; Samuel Hiestand, One Hundredth Indi- 
ana, died ; Elisha Harding, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; 
Thomas Holmes, One Hundredth and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; Noah 
Hively, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; David Haines, One 
Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; Addison Harley, One Hundred and 
Twenty-ninth Indiana, died; James W. Huss, One Hundred and Forty-second 
Indiana, died ; H. J. Hall, One Hundredth Indiana, died of wounds ; Wilkin- 
son C. Hill, Twelfth Cavalry, died ; Rollo Hall, Seventh Cavalry, died ; George 
W. Haines, Thirtieth Indiana, supposed to have died at Andersonville Prison ; 
William C Hackenburg, Thirtieth Indiana, killed ; Erank Hoagland, Fourth 
Michigan, died. 

Charles Isely, Thirtieth Indiana, died. 

George Johnson, One Hundredth Indiana, died. 

Richard Kannady, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Victor Ketchum, Forty-fourth 
Indiana, died of wounds ; James H. Kingsley, One Hundredth Indiana, died ; 
Samuel A. Kime, Twelfth Cavalry, died ; Isaac Knight, Twenty-first Indiana, 
killed ; Richard Kingdom, Twelfth Cavalry, died. 

Arthur F. Lamson, Seventh Cavalry, died; Nelson Leighton, Eighty- 
eighth Indiana, died ; Robert C. Lazenby, One Hundredth Indiana, died ; 
Peter Legg, One Hundredth Indiana, died ; Hiram Little, One Hundred and 
Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; William Little, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth 
Indiana, died ; Robinson Lane, Fourth Illinois Light Artillery, died ; Charles 
H. Lawrence, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Martin Lattie, Fourth Michigan, died ; 
James Longcor, Forty-fourth Indiana, died. 

Levi Miller, Thirteenth Indiana, died of wounds ; Robert P. McFarline, 
Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Harrison Merrils, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Will- 
iam S. Mason, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Jacob Mishler, Thirtieth Indiana, 
killed ; Joseph Murray, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Eli Mosier, Forty- 
fourth Indiana, died ; Martin Letta, Fourth Michigan Infantry, died ; 
Joseph A. McKibben, Eighty-eighth Indiana, died ; Norman Mills, Eighty- 
eighth Indiana, died; J. H. McNutt, Eighty-eighth Indiana, died of 
wounds ; Sanford W. Myers, One Hundredth Indiana, died of wounds ; 
William Miller, One Hundredth Indiana, died ; Alanson Mills, Fourth 
Michigan, died ; Seth W. Murray, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indi- 
ana, died ; David Murray. One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; 
Robert McMean, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died; James 
Maybee, killed ; James W. Merrifield, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Frank Meek, 
First Illinois Light Artillery, died ; Thomas McLane, First Michigan Sharp 
Shooters, died at Andersonville. 

David Nelson, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Jones Newman, Thirty-fifth 
Indiana, died ; Richard Norton, Thirtieth Indiana, died of wounds ; Charles 
H. Nichols, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Milton Newman, One Hundred and 
Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; Charles H. Nichols, First Michigan Sharp Shoot- 


ers, died ; J. A. F. Nichols, regiment unknown, died ; Ira V. Nichols, regiment 
unknown, died. 

Leander Powell, Thirteenth Indiana, killed ; William A. Potter, Thirty- 
fifth Indiana, died ; Willis Pence, Thirtieth Indiana, killed ; Israel Pray, Thir- 
tieth Indiana, died ; Hiram S. Perkins, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Orwin 
Page, Forty-fourth Indiana, killed ; Albert D. Plaisted, Eighty-eighth Indi- 
ana, ^.itu^ John El* Powell, One Hundredth Indiana, died; Henry Plumb, 
One Hundreth Indiana, died ; Joseph Plank, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth 
Indiana, killed ; Lester Powers, One Hundred and Fifty-second Indiana, died ; 
Lafayette Parks, Forty-fourth Indiana, died; Maj. Eobert Parrett, One Hun- 
dreth Indiana, killed ; Willis Pence, Thirtieth Indiana, killed. 

Leonard Roy, Twenty-first Indiana, died ; Thomas J. Rambo, Thirtieth 
Indiana, killed ; William Routson, Forty-fourth Indiana, died at Andersonville 
Prison ; Robert F. Ramsey, Eighty-eighth Indiana, died ; William Rufi", One 
Hundredth Indiana, died ; Joel W. Royce, One Hundredth Indiana, died ; 
Amos Reed, One Hundredth Indiana, died ; Horton R. Ryan, One Hundred 
and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; Edward Ream, One Hundred and Twenty- 
ninth Indiana, died ; Dr. Delos W. Rupert, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Henry 
Khoads, Eighth Cavalry, killed ; George Rhoads, Eighth Cavalry, died. 

Emery P. Sabins, Eighty-eighth Indiana, died ; Oliver Shelly, Eighty-eighth 
Indiana, died ; William J. Shipley, Eighty-eighth Indiana, died ; George K. 
Sisson, Eighty-eighth Indiana, died ; John Showman, Eighty-eighth Indi- 
ana, died; James R. Stevenson, Eighty-eighth Indiana, died; William Sharp, 
One Hundredth Indiana, killed ; Halbert Starr, One Hundredth Indi- 
ana, died ; Charles Sharp, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; 
James Sharp, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died; George W. 
Schermerhorn, Forty-fourth Indiana, died ; Dr. Edward B. Speed, Forty- 
fourth Indiana, died ; Adam Swartsweller, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Josiah 
Snyder, Eighty-eighth "Indiana, killed ; David Starner, Thirtieth Indiana, 
died ; Andrew H. Stem, Thirteenth Indiana, killed ; Squire A. Storey, 
Seventh Cavalry, killed; David Seybert, First Michigan Sharp Shooters, 
died ; William Stevenson, Seventy-eighth New York, killed ; Frank Spellman, 
Fourth Michigan, killed ; Henry Sharp, Fourth Michigan, killed. 

James H, Tincher, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died ; Charles 
Tyler, One Plundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, died of wounds ; Marcus B. 
Tarner, One Hundred and Fifty-second Indiana, died ; George Trittapoo, 
Thirtieth Indiana, died. 

James B. F. Utley, Thirtieth Indiana, killed. 

Rufus Whitney, Eighty-eighth Indiana, died ; Henry Wolford, Thirtieth 
Indiana, died ; Abraham Wright, Thirtieth Indiana, died of wounds ; James 
C. West, Thirtieth Indiana, died; William W. Wilson, Thirtieth Indiana, died: 
Benjamin Woolheter, Thirtieth Indiana, died ; Eli Wheeler, Thirtieth Indiana, 
killed; Jerome Wright, Forty-fourth Indiana, killed; George S. Wicson, One 




Hundredth Indiana, died ; Edward Whitney, One Hundredth Indiana, killed ; 
Aaron Wolford, One Hundredth Indiana, killed; David Woodruff, One Hun- 
dredth Indiana, died ; Samuel Weaver, One Hundredth Indiana, died ; John 
Weaver, died ; George W. Williams, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana, 
died ; Hiram Wabill, One Hundred and Fifty-second Indiana, died. 

Died soon after discharge, from disease contracted in the service : Capt. J. 
H. Danseur, Company H, Forty-fourth Indiana ; William D. Groves, Com- 
pany H, Forty-fourth Indiana ; John M. Stoner, Forty-fourth Indiana. 

A large number more have died since discharge, of diseases contracted in 
the service, but there is no record from which to ascertain their names. 

The following exhibit shows the amounts expended by La Grange County, 
and by the several townships for bounty to soldiers enlisting, and for the relief 
of their families : 


By the County |42,000 $39,061 70 

Eleven townships each furnishing the same amount 121,000 11,000 00 

Total $163,000 $50,061 70 

Grand Total $213,061 70 

The enrollment of the militia of the State on the 19th of October, 1862, 
made the following showing in respect to La Grange County: Total militia, 
2,047; volunteers before that date, 750; exempts, 420; conscientiously op- 
posed to bearing arms, 91 ; total volunteers in the service, 653 ; total then sub- 
ject to draft, 1,536. Adding the volunteers then in the service to the total 
militia, shows the whole militia of the county at the opening of the war to have 
been about 2,700, On the 20th of September, 1862, there was a deficiency of 
46, for which a draft was ordered. 

The quotas and credits of the county under the calls of the President 
February 1, March 14, and July 18, 1864, were as follows: Enrollment, 1,899 ; 
quotas and deficiency, 713. Credits — By new recruits, 552; veterans, 72; 
draft, 15 ; deficiency, 74. A draft was ordered for the deficiency. 

The quotas and credits of the county under call of December 19, 1864 : 
The enrollment of the county showed, 1,436; quota, 191. Credit: By new 
recruits, 97; draft, 86; total, 183; deficiency, 8. 

These enrollments show that the county furnished 1,475 men for the war 
of the rebellion. There were, beside these, probably 100 men who went into 
the service from the county who were never credited to the county, being cred- 
ited to other counties, as were some twenty in the Seventeenth Indiana Volun- 
teers, while a number went to Michigan and other States to enlist and were 
credited to them. There were, though, a number of men who enlisted twice. 
All the veterans were twice credited to the county. Estimating the double 
enlistments at 200 men, would leave 1,375 different men who rendered military 
service from this county. The annual return of the militia of the State in 
1866 by the Adjutant General to the President, in accordance with an act of 



Congress, gave the county the credit for 3,030 militia, considerably more than 
at the opening of the war, if both enrollments were correct. 


" Through the kindness of Hon. John B. Howe, we gather the following 
information in respect to the soldiers of the Revolution and of the war of 1812 
who settled in the county, and of volunteers from the county to the war with 
Mexico. The Revolutionary soldiers who settled in the county were among its 
first settlers and were Micajah Harding, Nathan Fowler, Place, Abra- 
ham Cole,Waitsell Dickenson, all of whom settled in the vicinity of where Lima 
now is. David Cowan, who settled in the Burr Oak settlement, now Van Buren 
Township; Morgan Young, who settled on Pretty Prairie, in Greenfield Town- 
ship. He was a man of remarkable physical vigor, and at the age of ninety 
years followed the hounds. William McNeil is also believed to have been a 
Revolutionary soldier. There were also a Frenchman and a German in the 
poor-house in 1845 who claimed to have been in that war. The Frenchman 
loved to speak of his service, but the German was very reticent, which was 
accounted for on the supposition that he was then on the wrong side. The 
Frenchman was anxious to return to France, and finally received aid and returned 
to his native land. 

Of the war of 1812, the following names are remembered: Jesse Hunts- 
man (Greenfield township), Daniel Harding, Noah Austin, David Smith, John 

Kelly, Palmer, John Perry, Zimri Atwater, James Kinney, Sylvan us 

Halsey. Daniel Harding was at the taking of Fort Erie. Noah Austin was 
shot and severely wounded by an ounce ball, while crossing over the river to 
the battle of Lundy's Lane. The ball lodged behind his ear and he carried it 
to the day of his death, when, to the great astonishment of all, the ball dropped 
oUt just before he expired. John Kelly served under Gen. W. H. Harrison. 
Palmer was a blacksmith in Lima, and always claimed that he killed Tecumseh, 
and that Col. Richard M. Johnson had nothing to do with it. James Kinney 
was in the battle of Plattsburg. 

The war with Mexico did not, at the time, meet with much popular favor 
in the county, but it was not without representation. Frank Flanders, Sylves- 
ter Haliday and an Irishman, whose name is not recollected, went from Lima 
and enlisted in Capt. Tollis' company, which rendezvoused at Freedom, St. 
Joseph Co., Mich., and which was afterward mustered into the Fifteenth United 
States Infantry. Flanders became Drum Major in this regiment and was noted 
as a bugler. The Irishman was said to have been the first or one of the first to 
enter Fort Chapultepec and to have assaulted Gen. Bravo with his musket, 
because he made a show of resistance. Israel Lantz, Lorenzo Ingraham and 
John Davenport are also mentioned as having gone to the Mexican war from 
the county. 


by john paul jones. 

Town of La Grange — First Plat — Early Residents— The County Seat 
Question— Appearance of the Village Thirty-eight Years Ago — 
Former Mercantile Establishments — Gradual Growth and Develop- 
ment — IndUvSTrial Enterprises— Secret Societies— Present Business 
Occupations — Outline Sketch of Religious and Educational Interests 
— Cemetery. 

THE location of the town of La Grange, in the geographical center of the 
county, would seem to indicate that its projectors were men of shrewd fore, 
thought, who had in view the possibility of its becoming, at no distant day, the 
most eligible point for the location of the county seat, as in the early days of 
the county the strife and efforts put forth by the citizens of different localities 
to secure that coveted prize and distinction, were not unlike the record in that 
respect of most other counties. The tract of land comprising the original town 
site was purchased of the United States by entry, at the Government Land 
OflSce, in Fort Wayne, in the year 1835, by George F. Whittaker and Theodore 
Craft. Joshua T. Hobbs subsequently purchased an interest, and thus became 
one of the proprietors of the town site. It is situated in the south half of 
Section 19, and was platted on the 18th day of June, 1836, by Reuben 
J. Dawson, William F. Beavers, George F. Whittaker and James McConnell, 
none of whom are now living. Mr. Dawson resided in De Kalb County, Ind., 
and represented his county and that of Steuben in the State Senate in 1850, 
and was afterward Judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit. He took an active 
and prominent part in politics, and was a Presidential Elector on the Democratic 
ticket in 1856. Mr. Whittaker was a merchant at Lima. Mr. Beavers resided 
in the southern part of the county, and was for several years County Surveyor. 
James McConnell, the last survivor of these original proprietors, died at Albion 
in 1881. He was a resident of Eden Township, and was, at an early day, one 
of the County Commissioners. The original town was laid off into lots 66x132 
feet, with a public square, 132x280J feet, streets 66 feet in width, and alleys 16§ 
feet wide, crossing each other at right angles ; the names of the streets being 
Mountain, High, Detroit, Poplar, Walnut, Sycamore and Canal, running north 
and south; Lake, Steuben, Factory, Michigan, Spring, Lafayette and Wayne, run- 
ning east and west. Detroit became the principal business street, and still 
retains that prestige. The original proprietors donated several lots to the 
county, the present site of the court house being a portion of the gift, which 
was originally the public square. The terms of the grant were as follows : 


" The public grounds designed for and donated to the county from the time of 
the commencement of the use of the same for the purposes of holding courts 
and the transaction of other judicial business thereon, and to continue the 
property of said county of La Grange as long as the same shall be occupied as 
aforesaid, after which it shall revert to the original proprietors. 

" The proprietors hereby reserve to themselves the right to divert the 
the stream of water which passes through the town, to any place not to exceed 
one-fourth of a mile from its natural channel, for the use of mills and other 

The town site was covered with heavy forest trees and a thick under- 
growth of prickly ash, interspersed with briers and shrubbery. The ground 
was burned over the first year, which was the means of destroying the under- 
growth ; the large timber was cut down and the inhabitants of the new town would 
generally engage in the work of clearing and burning'the brush, old and young 
joining in the work at convenient spells, some in one part and some in another, 
and often continuing until midnight. This afforded amusement and recreation, 
instead of croquet and such other fashionable diversions of the present day. 
Shadrack Carney, now a resident of Clay Township, claims to have felled the 
first tree in preparing to clear off" the public square. That work was done by 
contract with the Commissioners, who unfortunately required all the trees to be 
cut down, thereby depriving the public of the benefit of the fine shade which 
this primeval forest would have rendered. A portion of the public square and 
grounds extending to the south and east for some considerable distance was wet 
and swampy. A stranger, to travel over the solid ground that now exists instead 
of the mire, could hardly realize that such could ever have been the condition. 
Removing the primitive growth and filling with other soil has wrought the 

Isaac P. Grannis and Thomas Clark built the first two dwelling houses ; 
they were constructed of logs, one of which was used as a boarding-house for 
the accommodation of Mr. Grannis, who was one of the sub-contractors and 
workmen on the court house. The other was occupied by the Clark family, 
who were of a migratory disposition, fond of hunting and fishing, and who, 
after a few years, removed to the Far West, Avhere they expected to find game 
more plentiful. The first frame building was a storehouse erected by William 
Wigton, on the northeast corner of Detroit and Spring streets, opposite the 
southeast corner of the court house square. This structure served as a general 
resort for nearly two years. It was occupied by C. B. Holmes, who kept a 
general store, consisting of dry goods, groceries, hardware, and an assortment 
of such goods as was in demand in those early times. Here, also, was the 
post office, which Mr. Holmes was instrumental in causing to be established, 
and who officiated as the first Postmaster. Some idea of the magnitude of the 
business transacted in handling the mails at this office for the first quarter may 
be formed through the receipts for that period, which amounted to the munifi- 



cent sum of $1.08, quite in contrast with the receipts for the quarter ending 
September 30, 1881, which showed an aggregate of $644.42. Mr. Holmes 
seems to have been almost indispensable to the community, for about this time 
he was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace for Bloomfield Township. 
At the period of the commencement of the growth of the town, the country 
was but little else than a vast wilderness, though settlements had been formed 
to some extent in various localities in the surrounding country, and additions 
were constantly being made. Yet the farms that had been cleared for cultiva- 
tion were but mere openings in the vast sea of forest trees that covered the 
surrounding territory, and game of a great variety was to be found in the 
immediate vicinity. So plentiful were deer, that it is related that Ans Clark, 
who prided himself upon his expertness with the rifle, killed, in one day, 
seven of these animals, and so close to the town that every shot could have 
been heard at the public square. But a change was to come over the place in 
the new order of things. 

The contract for building the new court house had been let by the Board 
of Commissioners to Francis F. Jewett, of Lima, and work was formally begun 
on its erection in 1842. The building was to be a two-story frame, with a 
court room, jury rooms, and rooms for the several county officers. Mr. Jewett 
pushed the work with vigor, and completed it December 5, 1843 ; the cost was 
$8,000, and the structure was considered a fine one for those primitive times. 
As was the case elsewhere in the county, the pioneer suffered greatly from 
chills and fever, and as quinine was a scarce article, they had to resort to such 
means for relief as could be obtained from barks and herbs, the natural prod- 
ucts of the soil. 

Following the erection of the first two log houses, came other settlers t 
locate in the new town and build likewise, though the growth was slow for a 
period. The first two frame dwelling houses were built by Peter H. Fox and 
George Hopkins. The first one continued in existence until about two years 
ago, when it was torn down to give place to the commodious and elegant struct- 
ure, now the residence of Thomas H. Sefton. The other formed a part of the 
residence of M. L. Punches, and was destroyed by fire. Mr. Hopkins was a 
carpenter and joiner by trade, and came from Medina County, Ohio, in 1843. 
He sold this property after two years to Solomon Shattuck, who was the first 
village blacksmith. Robert McClasky and family came from Ohio in 1843. 
He was the first boot and shoemaker, and built the third log house on the lot 
now owned by George P. Robinson, and on which is situated his fine brick res- 
idence. A few other small dwellings were erected during this season. The 
locating of the county seat here and the completion of the new court house, 
fixed the destiny of the embryo town. In 1844, the county officers having 
been removed from Lima, and the courts holding their sessions here, gave an 
impetus to the village and caused it to improve rapidly. Simon M. Cutler, who 
had been elected County Auditor, built the house now owned by Mrs. Will, 


opposite the Methodist Church. Samuel A. Bartlett, County Treasurer, put 
up the house on the next lot north, now owned by Jacob M. Church. John 
Kromer and Andrew Ellison built the houses which were recently removed for 
the purpose of enlarging the court house square. They occupied a strip of 
ground west of the court house, with a narrow street or lane running between 
the two. The county purchased this property, vacated the street, and inclosed 
the land with the court house grounds, thereby increasing the width to 280|^ 
feet, corresponding to the width north and south, and thus separating it from 
any contiguous property, and lending symmetry and beauty to the whole sur- 
rounding. C. B. Holmes built a residence on Detroit street. Peter L. Mason 
put up a double log house on the lot now occupied by the Presbyterian Church. 
The south part of the American House, which was the first hotel building in the 
place, was put up this year by Frederick Hamilton, who became the first " mine 
host" to cater to the comfort of the traveling public ; at the same time being 
Sherifi", he performed a double duty, that of looking after the security of the 
unruly guests of the county. This building occupied the northeast corner of 
Detroit and Michigan streets, now the vacant corner lot to the northeast of the 
court house square. The American House was destroyed by fire in 1874. The 
once famous Boyd House, built by William S. Boyd, and used as a hotel and 
for stores and dwellings, for a number of years, was situated opposite the court 
house, to the east, on Detroit street. This was, in its day, by common selec- 
tion, the headquarters of the gathering hosts during court sessions, and for the 
politicians and other "wire-pullers" of the early times. Many were the 
schemes concocted and matured there for the political and financial aggrandize- 
ment of those who were ever on the alert for personal preferment. It was 
finally partly destroyed by fire, and the ruins removed to give place to the fine 
brick structure erected by Abijah Brown and his three sons, Ira, Jacob S. and 
Adrian D., for hotel purposes. The building was four stories high, including 
basement. This, in its time, was one of the best hotels in Northern Indiana, 
and had a wide reputation as such. This, too, was destroyed by fire in Janu- 
ary, 1877, the grounds of which are now occupied by the brick buildings owned 
by Brown Bros., Rose & Williams, and Jacob Newman. Messrs. Bingham & 
Newman, and Hubbard & Ruick, built the frame business houses now owned by 
John Will, and occupied by Will & Clugston as a dry goods store, F. M. Ved- 
der, grocer, and others, on Detroit street. In 1870, the Devor brick block was 
erected, and the Rice building in 1871. The new jail, a superb structure, built 
of brick, and inclosed by a substantial iron fence, was put up in 1872, at a cost 
of $28,000, and serves its purpose quite satisfactorily, though, like all places 
for the security of prisoners, there have been occasions when it has proved inse- 
cure, notably in the escape, just previous to this writing, of one Miles, who was 
confined for bigamy, but was recaptured and received his just deserts by a sen- 
tence of three years in the penitentiary. Drs. John A. Butler, John Brown, 
and Isaac Parry were the first physicians having oflfices or residing in the town ; 


these have all passed away. Dr. Parry went to California in 1850, where he 
died 1880, and Dr. Brown at his home, on the Haw Patch, several years ago. 
C. B. Holmes has been mentioned as inauc!;urating the mercantile business 
here by establishing a general store. The second enterprise of merchandising 
in the town was established in 1843, by Harmon B. McCoy and William S. 
Boyd, in the Boyd Building. Mr. McCoy was married in the fall of 1845 to 
Miss Eliza Price, and with his bride went to Ohio, whence he had originally 
come. They returned in the following spring, when he, in partnership with 
James B. Caldwell, started a tannery, and commenced the manufacture of leath- 
er in connection with harness-making. Samuel H. Boyd came in 1843, and 
started a tannery in the east part of town near the creek ; this was the first in- 
stitution of the kind put in operation in La Grange. The tannery of McCoy 
& Caldwell changed hands several times, and finally, in about the year 1858, 
the business was discontinued, and the lots were sold to the Grand Rapids & 
Indiana Railroad Company. This line of business has entirely died out, there 
being no tanneries now in existence here. McCoy was subsequently engaged 
in the manufacture of shingles at the Boyd Saw-Mill on Fly Creek, at the 
northeast of town, where he met a horrible death by accidentally coming in 
contact with the saw. This saw-mill was built by Delavan Martin, in 1844, 
and was the first put in operation ; it was fitted up with one of the old fash- 
ioned upright saws, driven by water-power, with an old style water-wheel. 
The same water-power was also utilized to drive the first grist-mill, built by 
William S. Boyd and John Starr, in the year 1857. This mill was a great 
convenience to the community and surrounding country. It was a two-story 
frame building, with sufficient capacity to meet the wants of the people. It 
was destroyed by fire in 1873, being then owned by the Kerr Brothers. The 
fine steam flouring-mill now owned by Hudson & Peck was erected by William 
Hudson and Samuel K. Ruick in 1874, also a saw-mill adjoining. The grist- 
mill has two run of stone, and the capacity of turning out fifty barrels of flour 
per day. The first regular drug store was started by Rensselaer Rheubottom in 
1852, in a small frame building near the Boyd Block. Drs. John H. Rerick 
and Howard M. Betts were the second to embark in that business; this was in 
1860, in the building then owned by Dr. John A. Butler, just north of the 
American House. They soon after removed to the building on the northwest 
corner of Detroit and Michigan streets. Dr. Rerick sold out his interest to Dr. 
Betts in 1861, and entered the service of the United States as Assistant Sur- 
geon of the Forty-fourth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Dr. Betts 
still continues the business at the old stand, the entire building being now 
owned by him, and occupied in part by the Central Hotel. This building was 
built by John Will in 1855, and occupied by him in the mercantile trade. The 
first tinware and stove establishment was started by Perry S. Hemminger, in 
1855. He built the frame building on tlie site of the Devor Block in 1857. 
The business was afterward conducted by Hemminger and J. W. Rheubottom. 


J. P. Jones purchased Hemminger's interest in the concern in 1857, and, in 
company with Eheubottom, added a general stock of iron, nails and shelf hard- 
ware, which was the first store of the kind in the village. C. B. Holmes was 
the pioneer in the family grocery business. Andrew Emminger came in 1844, 
and inaugurated the industry in the manufacture of chairs. Not until as late 
as 1872 was there a regularly organized banking institution in the place. In 
that year the La Grange County Bank was started, the proprietors being Ralph 
P. Herbert, R. S. Hubbard and Henry M. Herbert. In the following year, 
Andrew Ellison commenced the banking business ; this he still conducts in con- 
nection with his son Rollin. In 1874, the La Grange Bank was started by 
Thomas J. Spaulding, of Lima Township, and R. S. Hubbard. They occu- 
pied the Devor Building. In September of the same year, the First National 
Bank was organized, with a capital of $50,000, by many of the same parties 
interested in the La Grange County and La Grange Bank, these two banks 
merging their interests into that of the First National, and discontinuing busi- 
ness. John S. Merritt became the first President, and R. S. Hubbard the first 
cashier of the new institution. It occupies an eligible business location 
opposite the court house in the brick building owned by Messrs. Rose & Will- 
iams. Its present ofiicers are Solomon Rose, President ; J. S. Merritt, Vice 
President, and H. M. Herbert, Cashier. 

There are two public halls in the town, Ellison's, and one known as 
Brown's, the latter owned by Brown Bros., and situated in the second story of 
the brick block on the southeast corner of Detroit and Michigan streets, oppo- 
site the court house. It is devoted to theatrical and other entertainments and 
to other uses. 

There are several secret societies in La Grange, representing many of the 
various orders found throughout the country ; the purposes of which are gener- 
ally for the moral, social and mental culture of its members. The "Meridian 
Sun Lodge of Masons" was instituted at Lima June 1, 1849, and three or 
four years later its place of meeting was transferred to this town, where it 
became essentially a La Grange society. It had for its first officers William 
Martin, Worshipful Master; John Brisco, Senior Warden, and A. C. Vanor- 
man. Junior Warden. The I. 0. 0. F. Lodge was organized in June, 1856 ; 
its first officers were William Rheubottom, Noble Grand ; John F. Clugston, 
Vice Grand; John Q. Reed, Scribe; John Will, Treasurer; and R. S. Hub- 
bard, Warden, all of whom are living here, except Mr. Reed, who is in St. 
Louis, Mo. The Hutchinson Lodge of Good Templars was organized in 1866. 
It is a thrifty society, and makes its influence felt in the interests of temper- 
ance. Their place of meeting is in Will & Clugston's building. The Davis 
Lodge of Good Templars was organized in 1878. They have a membership of 
about forty, with lodge room in Wigton and Eyler's block, and are in a vigorous 
condition, with a good record in the cause in which they are enlisted. 

[In the month of January, 1867, a number of young men of La Grange, 

^:^^^^i:^<^C^^ ^^^o^T-T^T^^^^-^^ 



having in view a general intellectual and moral culture, organized an Addisonian 
Debating Society in the town. The charter members were James S. Drake, 
Lieut. Samuel A. Cherry, U. S. A., Robert Wigton, M. R. McClaskey, Seymour 
Brisco, Lewis Wertsbaugher, J. P. Duck, Thomas Ellison, J. A. McClaskey, C. 
Y. Roop, and Deloyn Carson. The following officers were elected : S. A. Cherry, 
President ; J. A. McClaskey, Vice-President ; J. S. Drake, Secretary ; Thomas 
Ellison, Treasurer. The present membership is about forty. Young men, 
between the ages of eighteen and thirty, and of good moral character, may 
become members. 

On the 21st of February, 1879, W. M. Obermyer, D. G. D., of Indiana, 
instituted at La Grange a lodge of the Knights of Honor, the following being 
the charter members : Thomas H. Sefton, Samuel P. Bradford, Isaiah Piatt, A. 
D. Mohler, E. G. White, George W. Berry, John A. Miller, C. H. Hollis, J. 
H. Hayes, A. D. Moore, M. V. Devor, W. S. Berry, J. M. Preston, J. B. 
Davenport, A. C. Beecher, E. G. Machan, H. M. Casebeer, E. V. Case, 0. 
L. Ballou and Leonard Peck. The following were the first officers : 0. L. 
Ballou, P. D.; Isaiah Piatt, D.; T. H. Sefton, V. D.; H. M. Casebeer, A. D.; 
J. H. Hayes, G.; A. D. Moore, Chaplain; E. V. Case, Reporter; M. V. 
Devor, Financial Reporter ; J. B. Davenport, Treasurer ; J. A. Miller, Guard- 
ian ; A. C. Beecher, Sentinel; and S. P. Bradford, E. G. Machan and E. 
G. White, Trustees. The membership has since reached forty, but it is now 
thirty-nine, one of the number having died. The lodge has property valued at 
about $500, and meets on Thursday evenings- Two thousand dollars are paid 
to the descendants of each person dying. — Ed.] 

The business interests of the town are represented by seven dry goods 
stores, one millinery and fancy goods, three millinery and dress-making estab- 
lishments, two tailor shops, five grocery stores, four boot and shoe shops, six 
drug stores, one stationery and periodical store, three hardware stores, three 
butcher shops, three saddlery and harness shops, two banks, twelve lawyers, 
thirteen physicians, three newspaper and printing offices, two jewelers, two 
dental offices, two photographers, one piano and organ store, three sewing-ma- 
chine offices, three barber-shops, four restaurants, three flour and feed stores, 
three hotels, three saloons, three livery stables, two agricultural implement 
establishments, two marble-shops, five blacksmith-shops, one railroad office, two 
express offices, one patent-medicine manufactory, one gunsmith and manufact- 
urer, two grain warehouses, two steam saw-mills, one steam flouring-mill, two 
planing-mills, three wagon-shops, one carriage factory, one pump manufactory. 

A cheese factory, the first of the kind in the county, has been in success- 
ful operation during the past season by Mr. Chamberlin, the projector and 

Since the original plat was surveyed, several additions have been made to 
the town. Ellison's, on the south, in the east half of the northwest quarter of 
Section 30, was laid out May 6, 1861. Drake's, in the west, was laid out by 


James L. Drake, October 6, 1868. Ryason's, in the west half of the north- 
east quarter of Section 30, laid out November 24, 1868. McClaskey's, 
February 13, 1869, on the Haw Patch road, in the south part of the town- 
McClaskey'a East Addition, on the east side of the creek, by Robert McClaskey, 
and Herbert's, in the northwestern part of the town, fronting on the Baubauga 
road, was laid out by Ralph P. Herbert, in 1877. 

La Grange was incorporated in 1855, and the following constituted the 
•first Board of Trustees : Andrew Emminger, William C. Kennedy, William 
Rheubottom and Rensselaer Rheubottom, who held their first meeting Decem- 
ber 26, 1855, and organized with the following officers : Rensselaer Rheubottom, 
President ; Charles B. Holmes, Clerk ; Andrew Ellison, Marshal ; Caleb 
Strang, Treasurer ; and John B. Case, Assessor. 

The general growth of the town, though slow, has been permanent, and 
its improvements gradual. Its residences, though not palatial, are mostly neat 
and homelike. They are principally frame structures. The business houses 
were originally built of lumber, but fire has made its inroad upon them at dif- 
ferent times, until but few of these old landmarks are left ; in their stead, good 
substantial brick buildings have been erected. The population of the place, 
as shown by the census of 1880, varied but a few from 1,400. There are but 
three persons now living in the place, who were heads of families and residents 
here in 1844. These are Andrew Ellison, Robert McClaskey and C. B. 

The educational advantages and system of instruction in the schools of 
La Grange present no features of striking contrast Avith the general system 
throughout the State of which it is a part. However, from the rude beginning 
of the first school taught in the village, gradual progress and improvement have 
been made, until the present high standard of excellence in the graded school 
has been reached. The first opportunity offered the little urchins of the village 
to prepare themselves for the high and responsible duties of matured life, in 
the way of book learning, was at a school taught by Miss Laura Brown, subse- 
quently Mrs. Dr. Butler, in a barn just north of where the American Hotel 
used to stand, or opposite, and to the northeast of the present Central Hotel. 
Prior, and up to the year 1866, the public educational facilities were those of 
the ordinary district schools. Among those who taught in these schools, and 
who have attained prominence, are Samuel P. Bradford, the present Clerk of 
the La Grange Circuit Court, and Rev. J. W. Welch, Presiding Elder of the 
Warsaw District of the North Indiana Conference. The people, however, at 
an early day, desired a higher grade of education and better facilities than 
were afforded by the district school, and an attempt was made to satisfy the 
demand under a law, for the purpose of providing for a county seminary. 
The funds were gathered together from the various authorized sources, and the 
construction of a two-story frame building, for the purpose, was commenced a 
few rods south of the site of the present school edifice. About the time it was 


inclosed, and before completion, the funds were exhausted, and work was con- 
sequently suspended. The building remained in this condition for a time, and 
was finally sold to the authorities of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who pro- 
ceeded to complete its construction and occupy it for school purposes. The 
first term opened in the autumn of 1850, under the direction of James C. 
Mcintosh, of Connersville, Ind., a graduate of Asbury University. He con- 
tinued one year of highly acceptable service, when he returned to his home. 
He was • succeeded by Robert Parrott, also of Asbury, who taught one year, 
and then entered the practice of the law. At the breaking-out of the rebel- 
lion, he entered the army, and was commisioned Major of the One Hundredth 
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, but was killed by the falling of a tree during a storm, 
while in his tent near Vicksburg. Mr. Parrott was succeeded by Isaac Ma- 
huren, and he, after a few months, by John Paul Jones, who had been elected 
to the office of Clerk of the La Grange Circuit Court, who taught the remain- 
der of the term, and then resigned to enter upon the duties of his office. In 
1854, John B. Clark took charge of the school and conducted it for several 
years. Others were Thomas L. Hulbert, George Hall and a Mr. Pierce, 
With the close of the latter's administration, the history of the seminary ends. 
By reason of financial embarrassment, the building was finally sold to Samuel 
Thurber, and he in turn conveyed it to the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad 
Company, and received in payment capital stock of said company. Finally, 
after one or two changes, the building was purchased, in 1866, by Moon 
Brothers, who removed it to their grounds in the south part of town, on the 
Haw Patch road, where it is still occupied by S. D. Moon as a carriage and 
wagon manufactory. Following the year 1866, a change was made by the 
erection of a large two-story frame building, and the adoption of a higher 
course of instruction, embracing more advanced branches than those taught in 
the district schools. This supplied the wants very well until the opening of 
the schools in 1874, when a complete graded course was adopted, and the school 
brought more nearly to the requirements of the times and the advancement of 
the country. The Principals employed since 1866, with their term of service, 
are as follows : A. W. Durley, one year ; J.' H. Graham, two years ; C. Hew- 
ett, one year ; Alfred Bayless, two years ; Samuel Lilly, one year ; 0. A. 
Reubelt, one year ; A. D. Mohler, seven years. 

The building now occupied by the public schools is a brick structure, 
erected, in 1874, at a cost of $30,000, including furniture and apparatus. It is 
of the modern style of architecture in its general design, and three stories high. 
The main building, on the ground, is 60x70 feet and the wing 31x64 feet. The 
basement is used for furnace purposes, rooms for storing wood, and others for 
€xercise of the scholars in inclement weather. On the first floor there are six 
rooms, two in the wing and the others in the main part. There are two halls, 
in which are placed the stairway, wardrobes, etc., one of the halls being in the 
wing. The sizes of the halls are 21x60 feet and 16x80 feet. The Superintend- 


ent's office is in the tower, directly over the main entrance to the second floor- 
On the third floor is the lecture-room, 43x60 feet, which is approached by two 
stairways, giving ample means of ingress and egress. Its seating capacity is 
estimated at forty persons. The building is covered by a mansard roof and has 
accommodations for 480 pupils. The heating and ventilating are done by mean* 
of three furnaces and their equipments. This building will compare favorably 
with any of its kind to be found in Northern Indiana. There are enrolled at 
the present time 300 pupils. The school is divided into three departments — 
the higher, grammar and primary, with twelve grades. The present teachers 
are: C. P. Hodge, Superintendent; Miss Achsa Hufl"man, Principal; Miss Ella 
Goodsell, Mr. Ora Rowe, Miss Ada Henderson, Miss Lulu Storer and Miss 
Mattie Parry, Assistants. 

In La Grange, as in all communities, the spiritual welfare of the people 
was among the first things to be looked after and cared for. The inhabitants 
of the little hamlet, in its earliest days, were blessed by the presence of the 
preacher, who held meetings at any convenient place until provision was made 
for a regular house of worship. The Rev. Thomas B. Connelly, who was a res- 
ident of the township, probably preached the first sermon in the town. Revs. 
James Latty, Abram Rowe, Charles J. Fox and James Roy were also among 
the early local preachers who labored efficiently among the pioneers of the place. 
The Methodist Episcopal was the first church society formed in La Grange. It 
was organized, in 1843, by Rev. William J. Forbes, who was the preacher in 
charge of the La Grange Circuit. It consisted of the following members : 
James Packer and Esther, his wife, both of whom are living about two miles 
east of town; Amasa Durand and his wife Hannah, now the wife of Robert 
McClaskey and residing in La Grange. Mr. Durand died in 1849. He was 
the owner of and resided at the time of his death on the farm adjoining the 
original village plat, a part of which is embraced in the Ryason Addition. 
Though a strong man, both mentally and physically, the labor of clearing this 
farm was the cause of his early demise. Isaac P. Grannis and his wife Rhoda 
were members. The latter is living in Johnson Township. Mr. Grannis died 
in 1863. George Hopkins and Sarah, his wife, were also members. He died 
in 1850. Mr. Hopkins usually led in the singing in those early days and in 
fine old Methodist style. His widow, who married Mr. Sanderson, is still 
living. Mr. Packer was the first class leader. The ministers sent to the place 
have been as follows : William J. Forbes and J. C. Medsker in 1843, E. Doud, 
William G. Stonex, Elijah S. Blue, Elihu Anthony, Jesse Sparks, Elijah Lil- 
liston, L. W. Monson, John H. Bruce, Ezra Maynard, John R. Davis, Eman- 
uel Hall, Charles Ketchara, Samuel Lamb. James A. Beswick, Abijah Marine, 
John Maffit, John Hill, Reuben Tobey, F. T. Simpson, D. P. Hartman, James 
Johnson, J. M. Mann, E. S. Preston, J. H. Hutchinson, J. W. Welch, Enoch 
Holdstock, Almon Greenman, Y. B. Meredith, C. E. Disbro, and the present 
Pastor, B. A. Kemp. This charge was connected with the circuit until 1862, 


when it became a station under one pastor in charge. The Presiding Elders 
officiating here have been : George M. Boyd, 1844 ; Samuel Brenton, 184S ; 
S. C. Cooper, 1849 ; Jacob M. Stallard, 1850; H. B. Beers, 1851 ; Jacob Col- 
clazier, 1853; L. W. Monson, 1857; W. S. Burch, 1861; Thomas Stabler, 
1865; H. J. Meek, 1869; 0. V. Lemon, 1873; A. Greenman, 1877; and 
M. H. Mendenhall, appointed in 1881. Samuel Brenton, while serving on 
this district as Presiding Elder, was stricken with paralysis, which compelled 
him to retire from the active work of the ministry. He was subsequently ap- 
pointed by President Taylor Register of the Land Office at Fort "Wayne, and 
was elected three terms to Congress from the old Tenth District, and died in 
Fort Wayne in 1856. Elijah S. Blue was accidentally killed in December, 
1845, on his way from an appointment at Wolcottville to his home at Ontario. 
Having dismounted, and while leading his horse with the halter strap fastened 
around his wrist, the animal became frightened and ran, dragging the preacher 
after him, striking his head against a wagon in the road, then against the fence. 
He was instantly killed. The church edifice erected by this denomination was 
completed in 1856, at a cost of about $3,000. It has since been improved 
and a parsonage added, increasing the value of the whole property to about 
f5,000. It is a substantial frame building, with a basement used for prayer 
and class meetings and as a lecture-room. The seating capacity is about five 
hundred. The Sabbath school was organized in 1853. It now numbers twenty- 
nine officers and teachers and 175 scholars, with an average attendance of 150. 
The school is in a prosperous condition, under the superintendency of George 
C. Morgan. There has recently been organized a Sabbath school normal class, 
under competent instructors, for the purpose of giving particular attention to 
Biblical study. The membership of the church is now about three hundred. 

The Presbyterian Church was organized in the winter of 1843-44, by the 
Rev. Benjamin Ogden, of Three Rivers, Mich., and Rev. Bouton, who were 
appointed as a committee for that purpose by the Presbytery of La Grange. 
The original members were Francis M. Price and his wife, Sarah, William S. 
Boyd, and Sarah, his wife, Robert Cummings, and Harmon B. McCoy. The 
first Elders were Messrs. Price and Boyd. Of this little communion, Mr. Boyd 
is the only survivor, and is residing in the town. The Rev. Mr. Ogden served 
the church for a short time, during which Mr. Phillip Toll and his wife, who 
resided at Fawn River, Mich., a distance of about ten miles, united with the 
church. In June, 1845, the services of Rev. A. D. White, who came from the 
State of New York, were secured for one-half of his time — he preaching here 
and at Fawn River alternately once in two weeks. In October, of the same 
year, at the request of the church, the Synod of Northern Indiana transferred 
its connection from the Presbytery of La Grange to the Presbytery of Fort 
Wayne. Rev. Mr. White continued his labors until April, 1848. During his 
time, fifty-nine members were added to the church, nine by profession of faith, 
and the others by letter from other churches, they having immigrated to the 


county and settled here. In June, 1848, Rev. A. H. Kerr came as stated 
supply, and continued his labors until 1852. Up to this time this organization 
had no church building of their own, but held service, in common with the other 
denominations represented here, in the court house or school house. Rev. 
William Cathcart received a call from the Presbytery, and was ordained and 
installed as pastor in 1854. He was the first regularly installed pastor of this 
church. On account of failing health, Mr. Cathcart resigned his charge in the 
spring of 1864, and was succeeded by Rev. A. D. F. Randolph, who continued 
until 1869. At the time of Mr. Gathcart's retirement, the membership was 
seventy-one. He died at Lima, January 1, 1870. Rev. Thomas E. Hughes, 
then pastor of the church at Constantine, Mich., received a call and became 
the settled pastor of this church, and remains as such at the present time. 
The membership is now 115. The present Elders arc Matthew McCoy, Ira 
Barrows, Dr. E. G. White, J. F. Clugston and E. G. Machan. The Sabbath 
school, under the superintendency of E. T. Casper, numbers 115 scholars and 
twenty-one officers and teachers. The present house of worship was erected 
about 1853, at a cost of about $2,000. Having become too small for the in. 
creasing congregation, it has been sold, and an eligible site has been purchased 
on Michigan street, a short distance northwest of the court house, and arrange- 
ments have been perfected for the erection of a fine brick church building early 
in the spring af 1882. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mount Zion congregation, wa 
organized October 12, 1854, by Rev. George Walker, a member of the Witten- 
burg Synod, and was constituted with the following membership : Michael 
Hofi" and his wife, Eliza ; Reuben Trexler and his wife ; William Sigler and 
his wife, and Benjamin F. Hills. Mrs. Trexler and Mrs. Hofi" have since died. 
Mr. Hills soon entered the ministry of the Lutheran Church, and preached for 
several years at Spencerville, and subsequently removed to Iowa. Mr. Walker 
was succeeded by the Rev. John G. Biddle, and during his pastorate the 
house of worship now occupied by this society was erected. It is a neat frame 
structure 32x46 feet, with a seating capacity of about 400. It cost $1,000, 
and is situated in Ellison's Addition, in the south part of town. Much of the 
labor performed in its construction was by Rev. Biddle, to whose zeal and un- 
tiring efforts is due mainly the success of the enterprise. The members of the 
church, and the citizens generally, contributed liberally toward this object. Mr. 
Biddle was the first regular pastor of this church. He died in Elkhart, Ind., 
while in charge, and the Rev. A. J. Cromer took his place. Rev. Jabez Shafi"er 
came to the charge in 1875, as pastor, and Rev. A. R. Smith in 1878, who 
continued one year. Rev. L. S. Keyser was chosen pastor, and commenced 
his labors in September, 1879. He resigned in 1881, for the purpose of com- 
pleting his theological course at Wittenburg College, Springfield, Ohio. Though 
but twenty-three years of age, he is a fluent speaker, and bids fair to become an 
eminent divine. The present pastor, the Rev. Levi Rice, entered upon his du- 


ties, preaching his first sermon on the Sabbath, October 2, 1881. The mem- 
bership is 200. The Sabbath school connected with this church, under the 
superintendency of Elmer R. Steele, numbers 104, and is doing a good work. 
The St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church Society was organized on 
Easter Monday in the year 1872. The first vestry was composed of the 
following-named persons : Rev. Wellington Forgus, ex officio Chairman ; 
Messrs. B. B. Harris, Senior Warden ; Adrian D. Brown, Junior Warden ; 
Samuel K. Ruick, Treasurer ; Charles F. Parry, Clerk. St. John's Chapel 
was erected in 1873-74, from plans furnished by Rev. Forgus, and under his 
supervision, and was first opened for service on the 28th day of April, 1874> 
the Right Rev. Bishop Talbott, of the Diocese of Indiana, assisted by Rev. 
Wellington Forgus, officiating. Mr. Forgus was the first rector. The parish 
is now in charge of the Rev. S. C. M. Orpen, with sixteen communicants. The 
Sabbath school is in charge of the pastor, and numbers twenty-five scholars. 
Ministers of other denominations have from time to time preached here, but 
have not succeeded in efi"ecting permanent organizations. The first burial place 
for the town of La Grange was on about two acres of ground, including the 
site of the present school building and extending west, which served for that 
purpose up to about 1863, when removals were made to the present cemetery, 
which was laid out in 1863, and is a picturesque spot, situated about three- 
fourths of a mile south of the court house, on the road leading to Wolcott- 
ville, comprising five acres of ground inclosed by a substantial board fence, and 
covered with a natural growth of fine shade trees, and admirably selected for 
the purposes to which it is devoted. It is the property of the town corporation, 
and is controlled by the Town Council, who regulate the sale of lots, the pro- 
ceeds of which are devoted to the purposes of beautifying and keeping the 
grounds and improvements in order. 



Bloomfield Township— Physical Description— I^'atural Eesources— First 
Entry of Land— Names of Early Settlers— Life in the Backwoods- 
Wild Game— Mills, Stores, Blacksmith Shops, Etc.— Villages- Organ- 
ization OF the Township— First Officers— Educational and Keligious 

AT the May term of the Board of Commissioners, in the year 1835, an 
order was made creating a new civil township, comprising Congressional 
Township 37 north, of Range 10 east, to be called Bloomfield, and attaching 
Congressional Township 36, lying on the south, for judicial purposes. This 
provisional condition relating to the latter township continued until 1837, when 
a separation was made, by the erection of Township 36 into a distinct civil 
organization called Johnson ; this left Bloomfield independent as a township, 
lying east of and along the central line of the county, running north and south, 
and about one mile north of the center. It is bounded on the north by Lima 
and Greenfield Townships, on the east by Springfield, south by Johnson, and 
west by Clay. The physical features of Bloomfield present no very striking 
characteristics ; however, its surface is somewhat diversified, and, in common 
with other portions of the county, it has, along its water courses aind near its 
lakes, considerable marsh. The southern portion, and extending into the cen- 
tral part, is quite rolling, and in some places hills of some elevation present 
themselves. The north part of the township is level, and of a sandy though 
productive soil. The most considerable stream that crosses its territory is 
Pigeon River, entering the township from the east, near the northeast corner, 
with its general course westerly across Sections 1 and 2, then to the northwest, 
passing out about one mile east of the center ; it has several, though quite small, 
tributaries, joining it as it passes across this township, which serve to drain the 
surplus waters in the vicinity. Fly Creek is a tributary of Pigeon River, but 
is independent so far as it bears relation to this township. It has several 
branches that largely form the natural drainage system of the township, and 
the two main streams have been, since the early settlement, of great importance, 
not only to this township but to considerable of the surrounding country, by 
affording excellent water privileges, which have been improved and utilized for 
driving machinery, principally for saw and grist-mills, but in some instances 
for other purposes. Fly Creek and its branches run to the north, forming a 
junction into one stream in Section 8, and passing through Section 5, across 
the north line of the township, and emptying into Pigeon River in Lima Town- 

^^-^^ ^^^^^^^t^^^^^^X 



ship, just northwest of Ontario. There are three bodies of water, wholly or 
in part within the township, of sufficient magnitude to entitle them to be 
classed as lakes ; these are Fish Lake, Sloan Lake and Cline Lake, the two 
former being in the southeastern part. These lakes are the resort, in the 
proper season, for those in quest of piscatorial sport, as they have within their 
waters a goodly supply of fish. The lands of Bloomfield were surveyed in 
July, 1831, by George W. Harrison, Deputy Surveyor, and soon after thrown 
open to settlement ; they were principally covered with a dense forest, consist- 
ing largely of oak, beech, hickory, ash, elm and walnut ; but the richness of 
the virgin soil was soon detected by the experienced eye of the venturesome 
pioneer, and the advantage of securing a land-holding within its borders was 
appreciated, as shown by the rapidity with which purchases were made, the 
greater portion being entered in the years 1834-35 and '36. The first tract pur- 
chased from the United States was entered at the Government Land Office in 
Fort Wayne, March 13, 1833, by Hugh R. Hunter, being the northwest quarter 
of the southwest quarter of Section 1, and now owned by Pitt Cook and Noah 
C. Fair. Only two persons in the township have the distinction of owning 
and still residing upon the land originally entered by them ; of these, Jacob 
Tidrick is by far the earliest. November 5, 1835, he purchased of the United 
States the southwest quarter of Section 7, where he now lives in the enjoyment 
of his possessions, the title to which would not be difficult to trace. Hezekiah 
Hoard, though purchasing later, forms one of the twain ; in 1851, he secured 
from the State the norfhwest quarter of Section 16, it being a part of the land 
donated by the General Government for school purposes ; this tract he still owns 
and forms a portion of the well-cultivated farm on which he lives. John D. 
and Manley Richards entered the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of 
Section 13, twenty-five acres of which is still owned by Manley Richards. 
The first white settler in the township was, probably, David Hanson, who came 
in 1833, and settled on the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of 
Section 26. 

In the beginning of the year 1836, there were but thirty families resident 
within the limits of Bloomfield. These were Caleb Jewett, Hart Hazen, a Mr. 
Townsend, Peter L. Mason, Amasa Durand, Ira Hays, Almon Lawrence, Cur- 
tis Harding, Palmer Grannis, Jacob D. Groves, Rev. Thomas B. Connolly, 
Joseph Welch, George D., Samuel and Daniel Carl, George Cooper, William 
Hern, Sr., William Hern, Jr., Moses J. Hill, Moses Newell Hill, Washington 
Adams, Elihu Champlin, Solomon Scidmore, Alanson N. Dewey, Levi Green, 
John Davidson, Joseph Davidson, Joseph Richards, Selah P. Benham and 
Thomas Newell. None of these are now living in the township ; thirteen died 
here, and the others moved away, some to the Far West ; the widows of three 
of them, however, are still residents here, Mrs. Harding, Mrs. Davidson and 
Mrs. Durand, now Mrs. McClaskey. This locality received the most of its im- 
migration — as did the greater portion of the county — from the States of New 


York and Ohio, and a few from Virginia and Maryland. Among the earlier 
settlers, and those coming in prior to the year 1844, besides those already given, 
may be mentioned Zopher L. Scidmore, who was elected Sheriff of the county 
in 1854, and performed the duties of the office in a satisfactory manner ; Nor- 
man Weir. Elijah W. Weir, Andrew Kilbury, Moses Marvin, Aaron Hill, Tvory 
Crandall, James D. and John R. Crandall, and a Mr. Green, who located in 
the eastern part of the township ; John Y. Clark, Christian Roop, and his sons 
Joseph and Benjamin, the Parkers, William and Hiram Jacobs, the Mattoons, 
in the central and southern part ; Joseph Richards, Jacob Hoagland, Jacob 
Tidrick, Francis M. Price and John Preston in the northern part ; Daniel Sar- 
gent, Ira Church, Joseph and Jacob Mills and Reuben Hays in the southern 
part. George Holmes, Alexander Holmes, John M. and William Wigton, in 
the town of La Grange. 

The coming in of each family meant the erection of a cabin and another 
opening in the forest by the felling of the timber for a clearing, and a prepar- 
ation for crops. These clearings for the first year or two were usually limited 
to an acre or so planted to corn and vegetables with perhaps a patch of oats 
and wheat. To be successful in those days in raising grain and " garden truck " 
required eternal vigilance to protect them from the depredations of the wild 
turkey, deer, raccoon, squirrel and other pestiferous animals with which this 
county in the early day was fairly swarming. However, these, though pests in 
this respect, served a valuable purpose in affording almost the entire supply of 
meat to the settlers. In common with the experience of all frontiersmen in the 
settlement of a new country, the early settler here was subjected to many hard- 
ships and privations, and ofttimes the most heroic fortitude was required to 
overcome the seeming insurmountable obstacles. The products from the little 
patch of ground in the clearing, and the game that was brought down by the 
unerring rifle, afforded subsistence for the family. The spinning-wheel and 
loom supplied the cloth for clothing and household purposes, save, however, 
where the prepared deerskin and the furs from the fur-bearing animals were 
utilized. Luxuries were obtained at great cost, and many times at no small 
sacrifice. Groceries and the commonest kinds of merchandise were in those 
days catalogued as luxuries, only to be indulged in in the most sparing manner. 
Trading points were miles away through dense woods, without road or perhaps 
trail. Danger was upon all sides ; wild beasts were prowling around, maddened 
by hunger ; impassable swamps impeded progress, unbridged streams were 
almost insurmountable barriers, and only to be crossed — except by fording — 
with the possibility of the faithful horse and its rider being carried down by 
the rushing waters. The Indians, though generally friendly and harmless in 
this locality, were not always to be trusted, and to be intercepted by them was 
attended with an uncertainty as to results. The traveler without guide, and 
perhaps compass, was liable to lose his way and be overtaken by darkness ; 
these and many others were the surroundings to be taken into consideration 


when about to start upon a journey. In those days, the nearest trading-point 
of any considerable importance was Fort Wayne, Toledo, Hillsdale or Michi- 
gan City. To these points grain was hauled for marketing under the most 
trying circumstances, and at prices so insignificant the farmer of to-day would 
not consider it sufficient remuneration for the mere transportation to market 
over the best of roads. Yet, with all of these impediments to be surmounted, 
there was real and unalloyed happiness to be found in the pioneer's cabin. In 
those primitive, days, their wants were of the simplest kind and in keeping with 
their surroundings. Society was upon a common level ; the only passport to a 
membership was good character ; even the want of this was not always taken 
into consideration. For the young man or the young woman to go to church 
barefoot was no disgrace ; for whole families to eat, sleep and live in one room 
was the rule, and to be in the enjoyment of more than that was the exception. 
The influx of settlers necessitated home industries, and a demand for milling 
facilities was among the first and the most important. In all communities, and 
upon all occasions, there are those, prompted partly by gain and partly by an 
accommodating spirit, who are ready to supply the wants. Saw-mills in various 
parts of the township were built at an early time. The first of these was put 
up by Daniel Harding in the year 1835, in Section 17, and though a rude 
affair was a great convenience to this advance guard of civilization. The Van 
Kirk Mill was built quite early on the farm now owned by Christian Miller, a 
short distance south of La Grange ; it was erected by Peter Prough, now a 
resident of Clay Township. Among others were Newton's Mill, built by Otis 
Newton, of Lima Township ; Green's Mill, now owned by Jonathan Dorsey ; 
and Hill's, all on Fly Creek, on the old Fort Wayne road. 

Ira W. Brown built the first steam saw-mill, on his farm, about three 
miles east of La Grange, and Jeremiah Outcalt the second, a short distance 
south of Brown's ; these are still in operation. Whilst these mills have been a 
great convenience to the community, and a source of profit in most cases to 
their owners, the effect of their existence is plainly manifest by the denudation 
of the land of the best timber afforded by the magnificent forest trees that once 
covered the township surface. 

Other callings of a lesser nature were prosecuted to meet the growing 
wants of the neighborhoods, and here, as elsewhere, the tastes of the people 
were not altogether agricultural. Some had learned trades before coming, 
others being handy at almost anything to which they might turn their efforts. 
They usually gave attention to such occupation as would offer the best remu- 
neration, and subserve the interests of those about them. David Hanson, the 
first settler in the township, was the first to manufacture brick, not only in the 
township, but in the county. Joseph Welch was the first cabinet-maker and 
undertaker, thus providing for the convenience and comfort of the living and 
the decent burial of the dead. Contemporaneous with the early saw-mills was 
Levi Green, the first carpenter; and before the development of "bog iron " as 


an industry in other parts of the county came John Hardy, who operated at the 
forge as the first blacksmith. Caleb Jewett was the first shoemaker to provide 
for the wants of the bare-footed denizens in his time. Moses J. Hill, as a 
physician, is said to have been the first to administer professionally for the sick. 
New communities, as well as old, require a civil organization and officers 
to execute the behests of the sovereign people and conserve the peace. Bloom- 
field having been organized into a civil township, an election was ordered to be 
held at the house of Moses J. Hill, on the first Saturday in June, 1835, for 
the purpose of electing a Justice of the Peace. Mr. Hill was appointed in- 
spector of said election, and was also elected as said Justice. A division of the 
township was made into two road districts. All the territory west of the middle 
line of Range 10 comprised the first, and all east of said line comprised the 
second district. William Hern was appointed Supervisor. The first general 
election for the township was held April 3, 1837, at the house of Abel Mat- 
toon, on the southeast quarter of Section 21. Solomon Scidmore, John David- 
son and Horace Bartine constituted the election board. Jacob D. Groves was 
elected Justice of the Peace ; George D. Carl, Constable; William Hern, Jr., 
Inspector of Elections ; E. W. Weir and Daniel Carl, Overseers of the Poor ; 
Joseph Davidson and Alanson N. Dewey, fence-viewers ; John Davidson, 
Hiram Babcock and Marvin J. Hill, Supervisors. The young people in the 
primitive years of the township, in some essential particulars, were not unlike 
those of later times. Whilst in those days the young men and women were 
not being constantly " mashed " on each other at first sight, as expressed in the 
modern vulgar vernacular, yet there were genuine love affairs ; and the courting, 
though from the very nature of the surroundings conducted under difficul- 
ties, was earnest and with a proper purpose in view — that of marriage and a 
prospective home, where each could be a source of aid and comfort to the other. 
Among the first legitimate results of these mutual admiration scenes in the 
township was the marriage of Moses N. Hill and Nancy Martin, January 28, 
1832, by Luther Newton, one of the Associate Judges of the county ; Wash- 
ington Adams to Miss Laura Hill, who were united by S. Robinson, a Justice 
of the Peace, at Lima, August 9, 1832. The license for the marriage was 
issued on the 18th of the same month, and was the first issued after the organi- 
zation of the county; Elijah W. Weir and Amy Hern, by Rev. T. B. Connelly, 
May 16, 1836. 

[In May, of the year 1836, William C. Tillman, proprietor, employed a 
surveyor, and laid out twenty-four blocks of twenty-four lots each, and nine 
blocks of twelve lots each, on the north half of Section 1, Bloomfield Township, 
and named the village thus founded Burlington. The proprietor was something 
of a speculator, at least he was a shrewd man, for, it is said, he had a large, 
beautifully colored plat of his village made, showing that it was located on the 
bank of the Pigeon River, which was represented on the plat as being of suffi- 
cient size to be navigable by the largest vessels. Armed with this map, and 


loaded to the inuzzle with glowing metaphors in praise of his village, Mr. Till- 
man went East, and there exhibited the plan of his Western town, and suc- 
ceeded in selling lots (corner ones), to some six or eight families, and inducing 
them to move West to the village. When these families reached what their 
imaginations and the promises of Mr. Tillman had pictured as a fine growing 
village, they found the site to be in a swampy place, and half of the lots covered 
with water. The disappointment and dismay were complete. Not an effort, 
with one exception, was made to colonize the place, but all left for some other 
locality. One man made arrangements to build a house, obtained some lumber, 
and perhaps got the frame up, but soon abandoned the attempt, and the pros- 
pective Burlington was left to the sole habitation of the snakes, birds and batra- 
chians. — Ed.] 

The village of Bloomfield, now more generally known as " Hill's Corners," 
is in the eastern part of the township, on the old Fort Wayne Road, and was 
platted on the southeast quarter of Section 23, by Moses J. Hill and Ivory 
Crandall, September 14, 1836. It bid fair for a time to become a flourishing 
town, and was a rival for the location of the county seat ; but not succeeding in 
that, and the railroad having been located through La Grange, it failed to meet 
the expectations of its projectors, and still remains but a mere hamlet. 

The church interests of the township have principally centered in La 
Grange, the several denominations maintaining organizations there affording 
more satisfactory opportunity for the people in the country to worship accord- 
ing to their belief than could be secured in any other way. In the early days 
of the settlement of the country, itinerant pi'eachers of various denominations 
visited the township and dispensed the Gospel at the cabins of the pioneers in 
the good old-fashioned way, when people cared less for style and more for the 
benefits derived than at the present day. Some attempts to maintain church 
societies have been made in the township, but with little permanent success. 
In 1835, the Rev. Thomas B. Connelly, of the M. E. Church, organized what 
was called the Bethel Church in his neighborhood, in the east part of the town- 
ship, with seven members — himself and wife, Jacob D. Groves and wife, Joseph 
Welch and wife, and Mary Groves. In 1852, this society built the Bethel 
Chapel, which was constructed of hewed logs, which was used by them for a 
place of worship until it fell into disuse for church purposes. Mr. Connelly 
was a native of Maryland, and came to this county in 1835, settling on a 
farm about four miles east of La Grange. He is described, by one who knew 
him well, as the embodiment of goodness, and as having " preached more ser- 
mons and visited more sick persons than all the other ministers combined." 
The school opportunities of Bloomfield Township are on a par with those through- 
out the county, and varying in no essential particular from the regular district 
school system. The first schoolhouse in the township was built of logs in the 
spring of 1838, on the southeast corner of Section 23. The school was taught 
the ensuing summer by Miss Almira Crandall, now the wife of Ebenezer Hill, 



and living in the township near Hill's Corners. Malcolm Burri'ett taught the 
school the winter following. Among the earlier teachers in the township were 
Rev. T. B. Connelly, John Rhodes, R. C. Blackman, Miss Griffith and Miss 
Weir. The number of schoolhouses and schools now in the township, exclusive 
of the town of La Grange, is nine ; pupils enrolled, 169 males and 150 females. 
The school buildings are generally neat and commodious, and are furnished with 
school furniture and apparatus of the modern style, the schools generally being 
conducted in a satisfactory manner. 

by weston a. goodspeed.* 
Lima Township— The Pioneers— Catalog lte of Early Settlers— The Eed 
Race— First Land Purchased in La Grange County— Interesting In- 
cidents-Pounding OF Lima Village— Outline of its Growth— Manu- 
facturing Interests— Village of Ontario— Its Industries and De- 
velopment—The Lima Seminary— The La Grange Collegiate Insti- 
tute— Pirst School in the County— Education and Religion. 

LIMA TOWNSHIP justly enjoys the distinction of having been the site of 
the first white settlement in La Grange County. Benjamin Blair, Nathan 
Fowler, Jason Thurston, William Thrall and Jonathan Gardner located within 
the limits of the township prior to the spring of 1829, and it is quite certain 
that the first three were residents of the township in 1828. Benjamin Blair, 
who moved from Ohio to Southern Michigan in about August, 1828, did not 
remove to Lima Township until November or December of the same year. 
During the interval he selected his land, now the Craig farm, a mile west of 
Lima Village, and erected thereon a small log cabin. At the time his family 
moved into this unpretentious domicile, the families of Nathan Fowler and Jason 
Thurston were already occupying a small log dwelling situated on the north side 
of Crooked Creek, and almost directly north of Lima. Both families, though 
small, were occupying one small room — the only room of the dwelling. To 
render the situation more trying at the time the Blairs appeared, a small child 
of the Thurston family died, and its corpse was lying in the cabin when the 
Blairs first occupied their new home. This was, unquestionably, the first death 
in the township. In 1829, there came, among others, Moses and lea Rice, 
William Gardner, Arthur Burrows and very likely several others. Among the 
earliest were Lemuel Fobes, John Hewett, John Kromer, Thomas Gale, John 
Gardner, Miles Bristol, Mr. Horning, Mr. Sinclair, Nathaniel Callahan, Fred- 
erick Hamilton, T. R. Wallace, David Smith, Daniel Fox, Almon Lawrence, 
Micajah Harding, Moses Price, Andrew Newhouse, Clark Classen, William 
Leverick, Daniel Davis, Lewis Switzer, William Adair, John Adams, John and 
Asa Olney, Nathan Jenks, John B. Howe, Christopher Cary, George Egnew, 
Oliver Classen, Nehemiah Coldren, Luther Newton, Elisha H. Shepard, Mat- 
thew Hall, Joshua T. Hobbs, Samuel P. Williams, John Jewett, Andrew 
Crawford, David Jewett, Cornilius Gilmore, Nathan Corwin, Robert Brecken- 
ridge, Stephen Corwin, George Latterar, William McCoy, Lorenzo Bull, Ben- 
jamin Corder, John C. Kinney, Robert Hamilton, William Hamilton, Jacob 
Sidener, Michael Riley, Jonathan Stephens, Sylvanus Halsey, E. A. Brown, 
Abbott Fleming, John Trask, Sydney Keith, John G. Lewis, Peter Miller, 
Samuel A. Howard, Jesse Ingraham, Hiram Harding, Daniel Harding, Enoch 

* Portions of the facts contained in this chapter were compiled by John P. Jones, J. C. Kinney and others. 


Layton, Joseph Leverage, Augustus Hewins, Seth Tucker, William Whitney, 
John Taylor, Thomas Lock, Ralph Herbert, Merriam Fox, Joseph Keir, Will- 
iam A. Mills, C. K. Shepard, Emilius Bartholomew, Richard Ferry, Joseph 
Kerr, T. J. Spaulding, L. P. Hutchinson, Jeremiah C. Robbie, Isaac Wallace, 
William T. Codding, Robert B. Minturn and Dickinson Miller. Some of these 
men did not reside in the township except, perhaps, for a short time. 

It is a matter of regret that the names of all the earliest settlers cannot 
be given. No one seems to have had either time or inclination to keep a 
record of early events, and the familiar proverb, " What is everybody's business 
is nobody's business, " is thus verified. For an indefinite period preceding the 
occupation of the county by the whites, the site of the village of Lima was a 
well-populated and widely-known Indian village. Here large numbers of Pot- 
tawatomies had congregated for many years, as was shown by the well-culti- 
vated garden near by, and the large number of deeply-worn trails which 
seemed to center from all directions upon " Mongoquinong," a,s a local point. 
Notwithstanding the ravaging effects of time, some of these trails may yet be 
seen in the vicinity of Lima ; and where the village now stands, especially the 
northwestern part, the corn-hills hoed up by the Indians more than half a cen- 
tury ago are yet easily traced. The old settlers say that, growing from the 
sand in the western part of the village was quite a large orchard that had been 
planted either by the Indians or the French traders, or (who shall say not ?) 
" Johnny Appleseed." The trees, though seedlings, furnished, in some cases, 
excellent fruit. From reliable authority, it is certain that Mongoquinong Vil- 
lage contained an Indian population of several thousand before the white race 
had entered Northern Indiana or Southern Michigan. While, so far as known, 
the French traders erected no store building at the village, nor perhaps estab- 
lished no constant trading-point there, yet it is certain that the French were 
often there with Indian trinkets and supplies, strapped in packs on the backs 
of ponies. These traders were accustomed to travel from village to vil- 
lage, remaining several days at each point, where their goods were displayed in 
some rented wigwam, and sold or traded for all kinds of valuable furs. As 
the Indian's standard of the measure of values differed essentially from that of 
the trader's, and that of the latter was in all cases used, it is not to be won- 
dered that the red men were fleeced to an almost unlimited extent. As 
the settlers began to appear in Northern Indiana, the Indians began to scatter 
and retire, until, in 1828, perhaps no more than about thirty wigwams were 
standing at Mongoquinong. Even these had been removed somewhat farther 
west, and scattered for some distance along Pigeon River ; in truth, the place 
scarcely looked like an Indian village. The large population seemed to have 
been parceled out among the number of lesser chiefs, and to have been thrown 
out upon their own resources, as small bands were to be found every few miles, 
on every stream. Mrs. (Blair) Eno says that her father, Benjamin Blair, dur- 
ing a portion of the year 1829, permitted I-^a Rice to sell whisky to the In- 




dians in the cabin of the former. One day a very thirsty Indian pledged his 
blanket for a drink of whisky. The blanket was thrown for safe keeping upon 
the roof of the cabin, but after a few hours it had mysteriosly disappeared. 
The Indian had undoubtedly taken it, and thus succeeded in getting his liquor 
for nothing. To make good the loss, Mrs. Rice poured two or three pailfuls of 
water in the barrel. This was the beginning of quite an extensive barter with 
the Pottawatomies at the village. The trade was carried on through the 
years 1830 and 1831, in a small building that had been built for the purpose. 
Mr. Rice sold whisky, blankets, beads, tobacco, powder and lead, or ex- 
changed them for furs. The Indians were peaceable, except when inflamed 
with passion while under the influence of whisky. An Indian one day became 
so incensed at Mr. Rice that he raised his rifle and fired at him, but luckily 
missed the mark. They were consummate beggars, and were often extremely 
skillful in their efforts to secure coveted articles from the whites. They would 
quietly enter cabins without warning or invitation, seat themselves usually on 
the floor and light their pipes. In cold weather, they were often permitted to 
roll themselves in their blankets and sleep upon the floor by the flre until morn- 
ing. Sometimes the floor was covered with them. Many interesting inci- 
dents might be narrated if space permitted. No serious outbreak ever occurred, 
though an occasional knock-down would take place. At the time of the Black 
Hawk war in 1832, the Indians were somewhat excited ; but this was owing to 
the possibility of their being drawn into the fray, not against the whites, but 
against the Sacs and Foxes. In about the year 1839, the Indians were removed, 
and were not afterward seen at Lima, except an occasional straggler who had 
sorrowfully returned to view for the last time the happy home of his youth. 

The following were the only tracts of land in the county entered during 
the year 1831, all in the present Lima Township : 


William Gardner , 

Robert Hamilton 

Same ., 

Daniel Fox 

Same , 

Benjamin Blair 

Francis Blair 

Frederick Hamilton , 

William Thrall 

William Thrall and John ") 

Gardner / 

John Gardner 

Nathaniel Callahan 


Ami Lawrence 

Obadiah Lawrence 

John Cook 

Richard Smart 

John Olney 

Peter Prough and Jacob 1 

Sidener / 






























































Number of 


N. * S. E. i 
E. |N.E. i 
S. ^ S. E. -1- 


E. J N. E. 1 
W.iN.E. i 
E. ^ N. E. ] 

S. E. 1 

W.J S. W. } 
E. * S W. J 
E. I S. E. 1 
W.|S. W.i- 
E. J S. W. ^ 
W. i S. E. i- 
E. iN.W. i- 
f fraction'l ) 
( section ( 






March 31 
March 31 
March 31 
March 31 
March 31 
April 29 
May 7 
May 7 
May 16 

May 28 

May 28 

June 13 

June 13 

June 13 

June 13 

June 23 

June 23 

June 27 

Oct. 10 






"At the session of the Board of Commissioners of the county, commencing 
May 14, 1832, it was ordered that the county be divided into two townships, 
all the territory west of the center line of Range 10 to constitute a township 
known as Lima, and all the territory east of such line to be known by the 
name of Greenfield. Benjamin Blair was appointed Assessor for Lima Town- 
ship. At the same session an election for township officers was ordered 
held on the second Saturday in June of the same year. Lemuel Fobes 
was appointed Inspector of the election. Micajah Harding, Sr., and 
William Adair were appointed Overseers of the Poor ; Andrew Crawford and 
John Jewett, Fence Viewers ; Clark Clossen and Andrew Crawford, Constables. 
The township was divided into four Supervisor districts in January, 1833. 
Daniel Harding, William Thrall, Arthur Burrows and John Jewett were ap- 
pointed Supervisors. As the other townships were created, Lima was grad- 
ually cut down to its present size and shape."* 

Thomas Gale and George Egnew each had a store in the township before 
goods were sold in the village of Lima, except by the Rices. As the estab- 
lishment of the Rices could scarcely be called a store, these were the first two 
in the township. Both men kept a few notions and groceries and a small 
stock of dry goods. How long Mr. Egnew continued is not remembered, but 
Mr. Gale, some time during the year 1833, removed his stock to what is now 
Lima. He increased his goods until they were probably worth $1,500. This 
was the first well-patronized store in the township. In October, 1834, the vil- 
lage of Mongoquinong (now Lima) was laid out by Jolin Kromer, Surveyor, 
and Moses and lea Rice, proprietors. Lots to the number of 286 were laid 
out, and eighty-four of these were given to the county in consideration of 
having the county seat located there. A public square was donated, as were 
also two acres in the southern part for a cemetery. In April, 1836, Samuel P. 
Williams, who was destined to figure prominently in the affairs of Lima, laid 
out an addition to the village on the north. He laid out twenty- four blocks of 
ten lots each, two blocks of sixteen lots each, and three blocks of eighteen lots 
each, and also donated a block for a public park or square. The growth of 
Lima between 1832 and 1838 was very rapid, and it even continued to grow 
and thrive until the county seat was removed to La Grange, and various 
branches of business had sprung into life there. As soon as the county seat 
was established at Lima, lawyers and constables and judges began to appear. 
John B. Howe, one of the clearest and most profound thinkers ever in North- 
ern Indiana, appeared in 1833, and began the practice of law. Old settlers 
tell the writer that John B. Howe had no equal at the Lima bar in early years 
for lucid, cogent and logical argument. In the presentation of a legal proposi- 
tion, no matter how intricate and baffling, he could make the simplest auditor 
understand him. If any doubts existed as to his unusual ability in this par- 
ticular, they would at once be removed by the perusal of his publications on 


the subject of that blindest and most complex of all questions — finance. 
There is not a superior thinker in the county. 

The presence of such men at Lima could not but result in benefit and 
general prosperity. This will more clearly appear as the reader continues. 
Among the men who have sold goods of various kinds in Lima, have been in 
nearly the following order : lea Rice, Thomas Gale, Jonathan Woodruff, George 
Egnew, Seth Tucker, Jonathan Stevens, Gale & Woodruff", John Cook, Woodruff" 
.& Kellogg, Albert Powell, Nathan Merriman, Elias S. Swan, Gale & Williams, 
Delavin Martin, Harrington Bros., King & De Puy, William M. Holmes, Mr. 
Oase, Kinney & Powell, Richard M. Fury, H. W. Wood, Hobbs & Gardner, S. 
M. Cutler, John Trask, Powell & Haskins, Hill & Morrison, Nichols &, Smith, 
AVoodruff" & Morse, Morrison & Beecher, Jewett & (somebody), Mr. Kane, 
Joseph Wright, J. R. Kirby, H. J. Hall, Mr. McBride, Mr. Wicker, Bar- 
ber & Wolcott, Durand & Shepardson, Jewett & Rawles, Rawles & Hull, A. 
Atwater, Mr. Searing, Mr. Shoop, A. W. Beecher, Cooper & Thompson, Ste- 
phen Cooper and others. One of the best (if not the best) stores ever in Lima, 
was kept by Gale & Williams, and afterward by Samuel P. Williams. It was 
opened in the spring of 1837 with a general stock valued at $20,000. The 
goods were purchased in New York, shipped by the Erie Canal to Buff'alo, 
transported by vessel to Michigan City, and then hauled in wagons to Lima, 
the freight bill alone amounting to $3,000. In 1839, Mr. Williams purchased 
ihis partner's interest and continued the business on a gigantic scale until 1853, 
when he sold out to Jewett & Rawles. Owing to the scarcity of money in 
early years, sales were usually a sort of barter, and from this fact merchants 
were compelled to take certain kinds of produce for their goods. Mr. Will- 
iams took large quantities of pork, wheat, butter, eggs, etc., shipping the 
same by wagon to Eastern markets. Live hogs were bought, butchered and 
salted down during the winter months. Running accounts were opened with all 
the settlers whose credit was good, and a large proportion of the pay was taken 
in the products of the farm. Merchants usually went East twice a year for 
their goods, and necessarily had to buy at one time enough to last them six 
months. Mr. Williams at one time bought nearly $25,000 worth of goods. 
It is impossible to tell all the hardships met by the settlers owing to the lack 
of money. They often came with the most pitiful stories to the merchants in 
hope that the latter would assist them. Merchants made their calculations to 
lose a certain per cent of their sales. Lima was the center of a trade extend- 
ing over a tract of country fifty or more miles in diameter. One day, Phi- 
lander Isbell, of Noble County, a young man who had married but a few 
months before, came to Mr. Williams, told him in confidence that he had no 
money, nor property that could be readily converted into money, stated soberly 
that he expected an increase in the family soon, and must have a few necessary 
articles for the prospective mother and child. Becoming satisfied that the 
young man had told him the truth, Mr. Williams gave him what he wanted, to 


the amount of about $10. A year or two later the supplies were paid for, and 
nothing further was heard of the affair, until a short time ago, when Mr. Isbell^ 
who is yet living, related the circumstance to Mr. Williams, and said it was the 
greatest favor he ever received from any one. Thousands of instances, show- 
ing the trials of early years, might be mentioned. The other early merchants 
of Lima had an experience similar to that of Mr. Williams. Delavin Martin 
had about $12,000 worth of goods, and several others owned nearly as much. 
In 1829, Moses Rice erected a small log dwelling in the southern part of what 
is now Lima. This was the first. Arthur Burrows was licensed to keep a tav- 
ern in 1833, it being the first in Mongoquinong, as Lima was then called. 
Mr. J. P. Jones says the name was changed by special act of the Legislature 
in 1833 or 1834. Court was held in the houses of Thomas Gale, Arthur Bur- 
rows, Moses Rice, Mr. McNeal, David St. Clair and perhaps others. The 
land upon which the village stands was held jointly by the Rices and Jonathan 
Gardner, and was purchased of the Government August 29, 1832. Not more 
than eight or ten families resided in the village in 1832, but within four year& 
the population had reached over two hundred, and in 1840 was probably about 
three hundred and fifty. The population probably at no time reached 450. 
Nathan Merriman opened a tavern in 1835. The old court house was used as 
a tavern after 1844, for a time, by Dr. F. F. Jewett ; it was finally destroyed 
by fire. Henry W. Wood and Warren Lee kept the Lima House where the 
Kingsbury House now stands ; it was burned, as were also all the buildings on 
the east side. The loss was about $10,000. The present block on the east 
side was erected in 1860, by Samuel P. Williams, John B. Howe, Samuel Bur- 
nell and G. J. Spaulding, at a cost of some $18,000. Howe and Williama 
built the Kingsbury House at the same time, at a cost of about $8,000. Mr. 
Crandall conducted this house before it was purchased by M. Kingsbury. 
Among the Postmasters have been Thomas Gale, George Egnew, J. Whittaker, 
C. Ward (a man who robbed the mail and was prosecuted), John Moore, S> 
M. Cutler, J. S. Castle, F. F. Jewett,' Mrs. Wicker, A. C. Van Arnum, Mr. 
Strong, A. M. Kromer, W. H. De Puy, Mrs. L. Wicker. Among the physi- 
cians have been Elias Smith, B. Smith, Mr. Alvord, J. McCelvy, C. A. Mont- 
gomery, George Dayton, Mr. Hughes, George Palmer, C. C. Holbrook, W. 
M. Fox, Mr. Parish, Mr. Bossinger, T. J. Hobbs, Mr. Sanger, William McCue, 
Mr. Goodrich, Mr. Griflfith, Charles Thompson, F. F. Jewett, G. P. Fletcher, 
Mr. Pary, Whitefeather (an Indian doctor), Mr. Jones, Mr. Arnold and Mr. 
White. Cornelius Gilmore is said to have been the first blacksmith. The old 
jail is yet standing on the southwest corner of the square. The Cooper store 
building is quite an old one. The brick block on the north was erected in 
1878. Its proprietors are C. S. Atwater, A. W. Beecher and the owners of 
the bank. 

In about 1838, David Pucket began manufacturing furniture, which he 
continued quite extensively several years. The same year Wright & Drake 


erected and began conducting a wagon factory, employing from twelve to 
twenty hands, and continuing a number of years. In about 1850, Lyman 
Wilcox was conducting an excellent cabinet-shop. He turned out a considera- 
ble quantity of furniture, making a specialty of bedsteads. Nathan and Will- 
iam Place also manufactured wagons, together with coffins, etc., carrying on 
the business eight or ten years, beginning about 1840. Theodore Moore, in 
about 1840, manufactured gloves and moccasins, dressed deer skins, and made 
robes, etc. In about 1845, Richard and John Salmon erected a wooden 
building, converting the same into a foundry. Here they began manufacturing 
all kinds of general castings, and quite a large number of plows, that were 
largely used in all the surrounding country. They employed about a dozen work- 
men. In about 1849, Samuel P. Williams purchased the entire business, but 
soon afterward sold to Taylor & Vance, who, a little later, sold to Hill & Tay- 
lor, the latter firm conducting the enterprise successfully for many years. Mr. 
Keith is the present owner of the factory, which is yet doing good work. 
Other men have owned and conducted the foundry, among whom are Hawks & 
Co., Woodruff & Morse, and Gore & Hardesty. Bar-iron was manufactured 
from bog-ore obtained in some of the neighboring swamps, and a portion of the 
iron thus obtained was so tough and malleable that it was used for horseshoe 
nails and steam boilers. Some of the owners have shipped large quantities of 
ore. Hawks & Co. kept a store to supply their workmen with goods, etc. In 
1870, the Star Grist-Mill was erected on Crooked Creek, two miles northwest of 
Lima, by Post & Torry, in which were placed two sets of buhrs. A little 
later, S. Flusher bought the mill, and soon sold an interest to Mr. Arnold. 
Another set of stones and a turbine water-wheel were added. W. T. Miller 
began, in about 1837, to manufacture wagons, continuing the business some 
twenty-five years, turning out about thirty vehicles per annum, on the 
average. John Taylor also followed the same occupation in an early day. In 
about the year 1836, Albert Powell erected a distillery on the bank of "Still" 
Lake, named thus from the location of the distillery. No very large quantity 
of liquor was made there, although that which was distilled is said to have 
been of excellent quality. This statement is clearly proved by the rapid dis- 
appearance of the whisky as soon as made. The business soon passed to the 
ownership of Hiram Harding, and later to H. W. Wood, who removed the still, 
and began to manufacture potash on quite an extensive scale, continuing as 
long as ashes could be obtained cheaply. A Mr. Hort manufactured the pot- 
ash. The corn, or other grain, used in this distillery was mashed by hand, 
some four men being employed. In about 1845, William Marten erected a 
distillery in Lima. Ten or twelve workmen were employed, and from 15,000 to 
20,000 bushels of grain were annually consumed in the manufacture mostly of 
what were called " high wines." Several teams were constantly employed to con- 
vey the liquor to market. One set of 44-inch buhrs was used to grind the grain. 
Two teams were necessary to draw the wood used, and four or five coopers were 


employed to make barrels to contain the liquor. From thirty to sixty head of 
cattle and about two hundred hogs were fed largely from the refuse of the dis- 
tillery. This was, in many respects, the most extensive industry ever in Lima. 
After about twelve years, the building was rented by Robert Triplettand Samuel 
Ruick, who carried on the same business for a few years, after which Mr. Bur- 
dick took control. But the enterprise was soon abandoned, Mr. J. H. Ladd 
placing in the building a turning lathe, though at the end of a year this busi- 
ness was discontinued. 

In about 1838, Follet & Johnson built a tannery at Lima, sinking some 
fifteen or twenty vats. They dressed large quantities of skins, selling the 
leather both at home and abroad. Mr. Sering began making chairs about 
thirty years ago. The old saw-mill at Lima was built in 1831, by Lewis P. 
Judson, probably, but in 1833 it was destroyed by fire. About the time the 
saw-mill was built, or perhaps a little later, Mr. Judson and William A. Mills 
erected the grist-mill that, under many alterations, is yet doing good work. 
The mill was conducted by Palmer Grannis in 1837. The mill in its day has 
been a good one, and has been a great accommodation to the citizens of Lima. 
Two sets of buhrs were placed in at first. Many have conducted the mill ; but 
all who tried to carry on a merchant business, with few exceptions, have been 
bankrupted. When the old saw-mill was burned, another soon took its place. 
One was built in about 1846 by Samuel Howard for John B. Howe. In 1847, 
Alphonso Martin built a saw-mill in Lima, but soon afterward sold to S. M. 
Cowley. It was finally thrown down by having its supports washed away by 
the water. It is probable that Mr. Judson erected the saw-mill that took the 
place of the one destroyed by fire, at the same time he built his grist-mill. 
Attached to the Martin Saw-Mill was a shingle factory, by Alvaro Hunter ; 
also a lath-saw by S. M. Cowley. Palmer Grannis conducted the saw-mill at 
the "Lima Mills, " and might have erected the same. About the same time, 
John Shorten was conducting a harness-shop there. A man (the name is with- 
held) erected a building 16x26 feet, near the mills, designing the same for a 
store. Dry goods were placed therein, and, for a time, things went on nicely ; 
but suspicion fell upon the man, and his building was searched, whereupon 
three sets of counterfeit dies, two for quarter dollars and one for half dollars, 
were found, together with about half a peck of half-finished bogus coin. Some 
of the finished article was also found, which could not be distinguished by 
novices from the genuine coin. It was reported that some of it had been 
passed upon the agent at Fort Wayne for lands, and that he took it for genuine 
money. The building was transformed, first into a schoolhouse, and afterward 
into a dwelling now occupied by Mr. Doll. In 1833, a brick-yard was opened, 
and a kiln burned on the bank of Pigeon River, half a mile west of Lima : but 
the soil was such that the bricks were worthless, as they fell in pieces within a 
short time. Later, another kiln was burned a short distance southwest of the 
old foundry. 


In 1854, Samuel P. Williams and John B. Howe founded the La Grange 
Bank at Lima, receiving a charter under the free banking law of the State, and 
having a circulation of about $70,000. A good banking business was done 
until 1857, when the bank became a branch of the State Bank of Indiana, with 
a capital stock of $150,000, which was owned by twelve men, among 
whom were John B. Howe, Samuel P. Williams, Samuel Burnell, James B. 
Howe, Thomas J. Spaulding, S. Halsey and Philo Nichols. The bank 
sustained itself easily, and the stockholders realized handsome revenues. 
In 1862, in accordance with Congressional enactment made at that time, the 
institution became a National Bank, with about the same stockholders, with a 
capital stock of $100,000, continuing thus until 1880, when a private banking 
business was begun. The same stockholders, a number of years ago, founded 
the National Bank at Sturgis, owning a controlling interest in the stock, and 
also bought largely of the stock of the National Bank at Coldwater, and of 
other banks. The bank at Lima is firmly founded, and has the unlimited con- 
fidence of the public. 

The village of Ontario was laid out by Nathan Jenks, proprietor, early in 
March, 1837, on the southwest quarter of Section 33. There were laid out 
twenty-three blocks of ten lots each, two blocks of five lots each, two blocks of 
six lots each, and a public square. In June, 1844, Mr. Jenks made an addi- 
tion to the village of ninety-five lots of the usual size, and seven large lots, 
four of which were north of the river. The addition was laid out between the 
original town and the river. The first settler on the present site of Ontario 
was George Latterer, who built a log cabin in 1834. During the same year, 
or perhaps during the early part of 1835, Henry Lake and Mr. Gibson 
also located there in small, rude log dwellings. At about the same time, J. C. 
Kinney and Mr. Hubbard, from Blissfield, Ohio, settled on the north bank of 
the river, and began building the dam, which was finished after a great deal of 
hard labor ; when it was completed, which was the same season, a saw-mill was 
immediately built on the south bank, having one of the old-fashioned up-and- 
down saws. About this time, or a little later, a Mr. Allen came there from 
Ohio, with a small set of " niggerhead " buhrs, and effected a contract by 
which the power operating the saw-mill was also connected by belts with the 
machinery which ran the stones. Here was ground the first grain in Ontario. 
Allen had hard luck for some time ; he suffered with ague and fever, and lost 
money, and thus became so discouraged that one night he took the pillow 
case from under his head, went down to the mill dam, filled the case partly full 
of sand, tied it up and attached it with a stout cord to his person, and plunged 
into the mill-flume. He was found dead in the flume early the next morning 
by Mr. Kinney's son, who was sent to call him to breakfast. His clothes and 
hat were first noticed lying on the bank. The old saw-mill was quite well 
patronized, the work being done mostly on shares. Blisha Thorp, who hauled 
logs there with a team consisting of six ponies, owned a wagon, the wheels of 


which were made of huge, solid, wooden cross-sections of some large log. In 
1836, Nathan Jenks purchased the mill property, at which time he stated that 
it was his intention to secure an act of the Legislature to charter a company 
who should bear the expense of conducting the water-power created by the 
dam at Ontario, from the latter place, through a long race, to Lima. The act 
was passed by the Legislature, the location of the race was staked off, sub- 
scription books were opened and liberally signed by the citizens of Lima ; but 
for some reason unknown to the writer, and to most of all the old settlers, Mr. 
Jenks subscribed a controlling interest in the stock, and abandoned the project 
without further ado, greatly to the regret of Lima. It is thought by the 
writer that, as Mr. Jenks was dissatisfied about this time with the offers made 
him by Lima to induce him to locate the '" La Grange Collegiate Institute " 
there instead of at Ontario, and as he refused to accept their proffered assist- 
ance as being not an adequate consideration, this had something to do with 
his action in canceling what had been done toward continuing the water-power 
to Lima. 

The real facts could not be ascertained why Mr. Jenks so completely 
*•' squelched " the work on the race. It is also stated that, about this time, the 
surveyors of the proposed Buffalo & Mississippi Railroad surveyed a route east 
and west, a short distance south of Ontario, and that Mr. Jenks thought that, 
by building up Ontario at the expense of Lima, he could, in the end, succeed 
in securing the removal of the county seat from the latter village to the former ; 
and that, therefore, he located the Institute at Ontario, set aside the work on 
the race, and did all he could to kill Lima and infuse vitality into Ontario. 
In that day, as steam had not come into general use in mills, a good water- 
power was alone sufficient to insure the building of quite a town. More on 
this subject will be found in other parts of this volume. 

Mr. Jenks built the present mill-race at Ontario and, in about 1843, 
erected the large grist-mill, that, in its time, was one of the best ever in the 
county. It cost about $10,000. The building was four stories in height and 
in it were placed four sets of French buhrs. Others were afterward added. 
The mill was so well patronized that it was found profitable to run it day and 
night and two sets of mill hands were employed. The work increased until 
some thirty thousand barrels of excellent flour were shipped, by wagon, to 
market in one year. This infused life into various other industries, such as 
cooper shops, stave factories, etc. Ontario grew very rapidly at first. C. W. 
Wilson probably erected the third or fourth house in the village. Mr. Codding 
also erected an early one. In 1838, there were living in the village the families 
of Messrs. Salmon, Seymour, Mills, Hawley, Bassett, Jenks, Wilson, Doolittle, 
Codding, Field and five or six others. However, two or three of these were 
unmarried. In 1840, at least twenty-five families lived in Ontario, represent- 
ing a population of about 120. Perhaps at no time has the population ex- 
ceeded 300. 


In August, 1838, Jenks & Fields built a storeroom and began selling goods 
from a stock valued at about $5,000. They were purchased in New York, 
shipped to Toledo, and from there drawn to Ontario by wagon. At the end of 
two years, Nathan Jenks sold his interest to W. C. Jenks, and two years 
later the goods were sold at auction. Boyd & McCoy conducted a good store 
about this time. Jenks & Wright opened a store about 1843, with about $1,000 
worth of goods. They dealt in cattle, losing considerable money, and closed 
their store, in consequence, two years later. Robert Dykes began selling goods 
in about 1844, from a stock worth probably $6,000. This was about the best 
store ever in Ontario. Hestus & Hamilton owned a store in the village. 
Among other merchants, have been Charles and Anson Vaughan, George Mal- 
low, Aaron Mallow, John Scott, Rufus Herrick, Jenks & McKinley, Turley & 
Parish, William Scott, Mr. Dickinson, W. H. Hendricks, and Timothy Field, 
who again began eleven years ago, continuing until the present. The Vaughan 
boys conducted a good store. George Mallow was shot by Stephen Jenks (not 
a relative of Nathan Jenks j. The cause is not clearly known. Jenks was tried 
for the crime, convicted and sentenced for life to the penitentiary. Warren 
Green was probably the first Vulcan in the village. Doolittle, Wilson, Bassett 
and Mills were carpenters, and the first. Among the village physicians have 
been Messrs. Bassinger, Dayton (a good one), Sargent, Jenks, Evans, Pendle- 
ton, Jenkins and Newton. 

Ontario saw its best days between 1850 and 1864. Franklin Duncan 
opened a hotel not far from 1840. L. M. Abbott did the same about six or 
eight years later. Ontario was the northern terminus of the famous plank 
road that was built about 1848-49 and kept up some ten or twelve years. 
George Mallow sold liquor at an early day. Alanson Beers was the first Post- 
master. Uncle Sam's agents since then have been Robert Dykes, James 
Turley, Mrs. Farrand, 0. W. Parish, Henry Grannis and Timothy Field. 
Charles Miller owned a fine hotel, which was destroyed by fire. The Good 
Templars organized a lodge in about 1856, continuing two or three years. 

A little later than 1860 (Henry) Jenks & McKinley purchased the grist- 
mill owned by Nathan Jenks ; but three years later, Henry Jenks sold his 
interest to his partner. The mill was finally mortgaged to Mr. Blodgett, into 
whose control it passed in about 1878-79 ; but it soon after was purchased by 
Alexander Beach, upon whose hands it burned down about a year ago. This 
was a serious loss, not only to the owner but to the village. In 1842, L. M. 
Abbott erected a woolen factory, the entire cost, including the water-power, 
etc., amounting to about $10,000. The building, three and a half stories 
high, and thirty-six by forty feet, alone cost $6,000. Two sets of machines 
for custom work were placed in the building, as was also one for the manufact- 
ure of flannels, fulled cloths, satinets, cassimeres, etc. From 8,000 to 10,000 
pounds of wool were handled annually, the work being done mostly on shares. 
The various kinds of cloth were kept for sale in a small storeroom. After 


four years, the factory was bought by Nathan Jenks and Andrew Dutcher, who 
added several power- looms and other machinery. They continued from three 
to five years, and then rented to James Scott, who continued on through the last 
war, making a great deal of money. At the close of the war, between $5,000 
and $6,000 worth of new machinery took the place of the old; but hard times 
came on, and the factory was mortgaged to Dr. Dayton, and perhaps others. It 
finally went to Dr. Dayton, who rented it to Chapman & Chess. Two years 
later, Joseph J. Scott rented it, and about the 1st of January, 1882, bought it. 
Charles Doolittle, who owned part of the water-power, built a cabinet shop not 
far from 1847. He made a goodly number of bureaus, chairs, tables, bedsteads, 
etc., and added a turning lathe. Daniel McKinley, about the same time or a 
little later, built a tannery on the race, and sank some twenty-five vats. He 
dressed large quantities of skins, and in the upper story of the building manu- 
factured boots and shoes. George Mallow also conducted a tannery, employing 
about four workmen. It was afterward owned by Sol. Liphart, and later was 
turned into an ashery, where potash was manufactured. Argus McKinley 
erected a small building on the race, not far from 1850, and began manufact- 
uring buckskin gloves, mittens, etc. ; his sales running up during the year to 
about $4,000. He carried on the business three or four years. The old tan. 
nery was finally turned into a barrel-stave factory. He made large numbers o 
excellent flour barrels that were used in the grist-mill. Keith & Son trans- 
formed the old shoe shop into a sash, door and blind factory. John Shingler 
manufactured wagons ten or twelve years. In about 1850, Carlos Jenks and 
a Mr. Wright opened a factory for the manufacture of saleratus from potash 
and pearlash. But little was done, however. About the same time, or perhaps 
earlier, Carlos Jenks attempted to introduce the manufacture of silk. He 
planted mulberry seed to raise plants, the leaves of which were to be used 
as food by the caterpillar of the silk moth Bomhyx mori. Pupce of this moth 
were obtained from Roop & Mosher, who came from the East ; but about this 
time neither the mulberry seed nor the pupce did as had been expected, and 
within two years the whole project was abandoned. It was about this time that 
the locust tree [Bobinia pseudacicia) was introduced into the county for the 
first. The first newspaper in the county was published at Ontario, and after- 
ward at Lima. Full account of this will be found elsewhere. Charles Doolit- 
tle has resided in Ontario longer than any other person. He has for many 
years been dealing in furniture, for the manufacture of which he has a shop. 
George Mallow conducted a tailor shop in the village about forty years ago. 

In 1833, a small log schoolhouse was built about a quarter of a mile south- 
east of Lima. Here it was that John B. Howe taught the first school in the 
county. The house was a most rude affair, with three or four small windows, a 
huge fire-place and a few rough desks and benches. Some eighteen or twenty 
scholars were in attendance, and the teacher was paid some $10 or $12 
per month for his services. Mr. Howe says that the funds from which he was 


paid were either raised by ordinary taxation, or from the sale or other disposal 
of Section 16. It was not a subscription school. All accounts and reports 
agree in saying that Frederick Hamilton taught the second term in the same 
house. After about 1835, no other terms were taught there, but school was 
held in several vacant buildings. At last, a frame schoolhouse was erected 
where the depot now stands, and was used until the beginning of the last war. 
Among the early teachers at Lima were T. H. Codding, Nelson Prentiss, Rev. 
Christopher Cory, Mr. Seymour, Hugh Hamilton, William Hamilton, Miss 
Sarah Smith, Miss Eunice Moore, Miss Laura Brown, Mrs. Dr. Butler and 
others. Before the house at the depot was built, school was held, among other 
places, at Mr. Cory's residence, in the Presbyterian Church, in the court 
house, and in private dwellings. After the county seat was removed to La 
Grange, the court house was used for a schoolhouse, and for a hotel. Among 
the teachers were Miss Julia Sanborn, Mrs. J. M. Flagg, Miss Almena Mason 
and Miss Lucinda Keith. The teachers were usually paid by rate-bills. The 
house at the depot was built with funds donated by S. P. Williams, John B. 
Howe, H. W. Wood, Abram Nipp, William Ingraham, J. C. Kinney and 
others. It cost about $500. On one occasion, this building was struck by 
lightning during a thunder storm, while it was filled with children. The 
building was shattered, and about a dozen of the children scattered. Two boys 
were quite badly burned, but soon recovered. 

In 1855, Samuel P. Williams, assisted somewhat by the citizens, erected a 
frame building at a cost of $2,500, designing the same for a young ladies' 
seminary. Miss Eliza Dimond, a graduate of Mount Holyoke Seminary, and a 
lady of unusual talent and culture, was employed to take charge of the sem- 
inary. She was assisted by Miss Julietta L. Oaks, and by Miss Mary A. 
Sherring, teacher of music and drawing. Mr. Williams collected the tuition, 
and paid Miss Dimond about $300 per annum. The school was barely self- 
supporting. Miss Dimond fixed the tuition as follows : Common English 
branches, $3 ; higher English branches, $4 ; Latin (extra), $2 ; French (extra), 
$2 ; penciling, $2 ; Monochromatic, $5 ; Crayolithic, $7 ; Pastel, $7 ; piano, with 
use of instrument, $10 ; melodeon, with use of instrument, $10. Miss Dimond 
was one of the many young ladies sent out to teach by Gov. Slade, of Connec- 
ticut. From twenty-five to sixty young ladies were in attendance. Mr. Will- 
iams donated the land where the house stood to be used only for school pur- 
poses, in any other case to revert to himself. In 1862, the seminary was sold 
to the village, and used as a public schoolhouse until the present fine school 
structure was erected at a cost of over $20,000. It was built in 1874-75. 
The funds to build the house were raised by issuing certificates, drawing inter- 
est, to be paid from school-money, obtained by levying a tax on the property 
of the township not to exceed a certain specified per cent per annum. The 
house has already cost twice as much as was expected, and several thousand 
dollars are yet to be paid. Mr. Howe gave $2,500 toward the house in addi- 


tion to his tax. Mr. Burnell also gave liberally. The house is one of the 
finest in Northern Indiana. Lima has always had good schools and good 

In 1835, a small log schoolhouse was built at what afterward became On- 
tario. It was a small, insignificant-looking structure, and was located about 
twenty rods southwest of the present mill-dam. The seats were slabs, with 
long wooden pins, driven into auger holes, for legs,^and the desks were made by 
driving strong pieces of wood horizontally into mortises in the walls, the other 
end being supported by a strong leg, and a slab being placed upon two of these 
contrivances, to be used as desks. A huge fire-place graced one end of the room, 
the smoke and flame passing up a broad chimney built of sticks and plastered 
with clay mortar. The first teacher was an English lady from White Pigeon, 
Mich. She taught twelve or fourteen scholars until within a short time 
before the close of her three months' term, when the house was destroyed by 
fire. In about 1840, a small frame schoolhouse was built in Ontario at a cost 
of $500. It was used until a few years before the last war, when the present 
two-storied frame building was constructed. It cost about $800, and, though 
remodeled several times since, is yet in use. About the year 1836, or a little 
later, Nathan Jenks founded the "La Grange Collegiate Institute." The idea 
had its origin at Victor, N. Y., as early as 1835, at which place it was resolved to 
establish such an institution somewhere in the West, by a number of prominent 
men, among whom were Nathan Jenks, Elisha Dickinson and others. A number 
of these men came to the vicinity of Ontario during the year 1836, where they 
purchased land and settled. Here the plan was perfected to build a literary 
institution modeled after the then Oberlin Institute of Ohio. So far as known, 
the first public meeting was h-eld at the residence of Lewis Vance, Lima, on the 
6th of February, 1837, at which time it was resolved, "that, in view of the pros- 
pects before us, we are warranted in undertaking to establish a literary institution 
to be located in this neighborhood, to be denominated the ' La Grange Collegiate 
Institute.'" Joshua T. Hobbs, Nathan Jenks, Mills Averill, Elisha Dickinson, 
Thayer H. Codding, Ansel Dickinson and Rev. John J. Shipherd were selected 
and recommended as a Board of Trustees. At this meeting, offers of assistance 
of money, lands and labor were freely given, and the outlook seemed promising. 
At the same time a prospectus was framed and adopted, setting forth that the 
institution should be modeled after the Oberlin Institute, that its course of instruc- 
tions should embrace five departments, as follows: A preparatory or academ- 
ical school, a collegiate course, a full theological course, an irregular, or shorter 
course, for those advanced in life or in peculiar circumstances, and a thorough 
course of female education ; that " the several courses of study should be de- 
cidedly of a Christian character, to the exclusion of demoralizing pagan authors 
and sectarian principles;" that the manual labor system should be incorporated 
in all the scientific departments; and that "a liberal charter should be obtained 
as soon as may be, empowering the trustees to fill their own vacancies." It was 


also decided that the institute should be founded upon this, that " corporate 
bodies and public institutions, no less than individuals, are bound to do right, 
irrespective of worldly expediencies, popular favor, or any consequences. There- 
fore, this institution will allow free discussion and openly sustain the great moral 
enterprises of the day, such as revivals, temperance in all things, the sanctifi- 
cation of the Sabbath, moral reform, Christian union and human rights under 
whatever color or circumstances. As this is a great work of public utility, 
which cannot be done by individual enterprise, the liberal co-operation of the 
philanthropic and pious is solicited." Two days later, the trustees located the 
proposed institute at Ontario, just across the line, in Bloomfield Township. 
Nathan Jenks had at his disposal $5,000 (whether his individual property or 
that of the men in the East is not known), which he offered as a conditional 
subscription toward the erection of the building, provided an additional $10,000 
could be raised by the citizens. In May, 1837, it was ordered that a frame 
building, 18x26 feet, be erected, to serve as a workshop for the erection of the 
main structure and to be used later as a preparatory school-room and dormitory. 
In this building C. W. Wilson and his wife, Beulah Wilson, taught during the 
winter of 1837-38, the lady continuing until July 4, " when that terrible sickly 
season came on, stopping all business before the 10th. From the 20th, there 
was only one man — Mr. Salmon — able to go round to the fifteen or eighteen 
families, and he only just able to carry a pitcher of water to each."* Mr. and 
Mrs. Wilson also taught the succeeding winter in the same building. During 
the year 1837, the funds were secured, and in June such advance had been 
made that it was determined to erect a frame building, 50x60 feet, three stories 
in height. The frame was raised about the Ist of August, but the building was 
not wholly completed until 1840. It was used, however, in 1839. During the 
years 1837 and 1838, strong inducements were held out to the founder to in- 
duce him to locate the institute at Lima. He was offered thirty village lots, 
an eighty acre tract of land at half-price, adjoining the village, for a site, 
besides a considerable sum of money, grain on the ground, etc., privately sub- 
scribed by the citizens of Lima. This offer was rejected, but was afterward 
somewhat favorably reconsidered, when some changes were made in the offer, 
until finally the negotiations ceased and the house was finished at Ontario. The 
following proceedings relative to this topic are recorded on the trustees' books: 
"This proposition not being considered equal to Nathan Jenks' pledge of 
$10,000, and in view of our having a flourishing school in operation, number- 
ing from fifty to sixty students and a building erected worth about $4,000, the 
proposition was rejected by a unanimous vote." On the 13th of February, 
1840, the incorporating act passed by the Indiana Legislature was approved by 
the Governor. Nathan Jenks, Joshua T. Hobbs, Thayer H. Codding, Aaron 
Thompson, Rev. Christopher Cory, Joel K. Salmon, Cyrill W. Wilson, Charles 
Mosher and their associates and successors were created a body politic and cor- 

*0. W. Wilson, Rockford, 111., May, 1872. 


porate, to be styled the "Board of Trustees of the La Grange Collegiate Insti- 
tute." On the 21st of October, 1839, the institute was formally opened by 
W. J. Baxter, Principal, in charge of the then only course — Preparatory. The 
building cost about $4,000. The $10,000 (only partly paid) raised by sub- 
scription in 1866-67 was employed as an endowment fund, drawing interest, 
and as fast as the notes were redeemed the money was reloaned. In this man- 
ner, and by means of a small tuition and the rent of lands, buildings, etc., the 
expense of carrying on the school was defrayed. From 25 to 125 students were 
in attendance annually during the continuance of the institute, and more than 
2,000 names of students are on its catalogue. The Principals in charge of the 
institute were as follows: Cyrill W. Wilson, 1838-39, one year; Witter J. 
Baxter, 1839-40, one year; Rev. John D. Skelly, 1840-41, one year; Rev. 
Julius Steele, A. M., 1841-42, two terms; Henry Steele, 1842, one term; 
Rev. William Jones, A. M., 1842-44, one and one-third years; Edward Brown, 
1843, one term ; Rufus Patch, A. M., 1844-49, five and one-eighth years ; Rev. 
A. H. Kerr, A. M., 1849-50, two terms; Rufus Patch, A. M., 1850-56, six 
years; Rev. Henry C. Morse, A. M., 1856-57, one and one-third years ; A. Gr. 
Van Etten, 1858, one term; Frank Cotton, 1859-60, one year; interregnum, 
one and one-half years; Rufus Patch, A. M., 1862-79, sixteen years. 

It may be justly said that the institute, during the long period of its con- 
tinuance, did a great deal for the morality and education of La Grange County. 
Its presence at Ontario attracted wide attention, and directed capital, intelli- 
gence and energy to that point, that otherwise would have passed on to distant 
places. Ontario became noted for its thrift, intelligence, morals and general 
excellence. Its literary societies are highly spoken of, and are remembered as 
sanguinary ground for the intellectual encounters that occurred. Neighboring 
towns were green with jealousy, and coveted the really excellent effects the 
presence of the Institute insured. 

" With the multiplication of village high schools, and the improved 
facilities for imparting classical instruction in the preparatory departments of 
neighboring colleges, the field of patronage of the Institute at length became 
so limited that its affairs were placed in the hands of a receiver and wound up 
in 1881." 

* " In the month of July, 1832, Rev. Christopher Cory preached in 
Lima, in the open air, having a stump for his pulpit. From this time onward 
he continued his labors, preaching in private houses, schoolhouse and elsewhere, 
until November, 1833, at which time he organized the Presbyterian Church of 
Lima. The first members were Samuel Cory, Phebe Cory, Mary A. Cory, 
Aaron Cary, Phebe Cary, Abigail McNeal, Elizabeth Blair, Anna Blair, 
Elizabeth C. Blair, Martha Gale, Catherine P. Judson, Emeline Cory and 
Elizabeth Miller. Samuel Cory and Aaron Cary were elected Elders. Rev- 
Mr. Cory continued his pastoral labors, and by 1834 had organized two or 

* John P. Jones. 


three other societies in other neighborhoods. By 1839, some 149 persons 
had been received into the church, many of whom were dismissed to form the 
other societies. Rev. R. L. Sears took charge of the Lima society in 1842 ; 
After him came Revs. S. E. Lane, H. C. Morse and D. C. Meeker. The 
first church, a small frame, was dedicated February 15, 1843. In 1855, the 
membership was 72. Rev. A. S. Wells was pastor in 1851 ; after him came 
Rev. Lewis Hamilton, who, a short time ago, was killed in Colorado by a 
switch-engine ; Rev. B. Farrand was pastor for a time, beginning in 1859, and 
continuing until 1864 ; then came Rev. W. Pattinson, who served until 1869 ; 
then Revs. C. M. Temple, T. E. Hughes, J. M. Drake; and T. E. Hughes 
since 1873. Present membership, about 70. The Sabbath school numbers 
about 150 ; W. B. Cory, Superintendent. 

" Rev. Leonard B. Gurley organized the Methodist Church, at Lima, in 
the house of Robert Hamilton, in 1831 — the first religious society organized 
in the county. The class consisted of six members, two of whom were Robert 
Hamilton and wife. Ministers served the society regularly, and the class grew 
and thrived. The church was built in 1847 ; present membership is 70 ; 
Rev. J, K. Watts, Pastor; Mr. Duck is Superintendent of the Sunday school. 
Rev. R. S. Robinson was pastor in 1836 ; then came Revs. G. M. Beswick, 
Erastus Kellogg, Warren Griffith, Mr. Sanford, R. C. Weeks, G. M. Boyd, 
William Jenkins, Wade Posey, L. L. Allen, Enoch Holdstock, G. H. Hard, 

W. J. Forbes, J. C. M , E. Doud, W. B. Storux, J. P. Jones, Benjamin 

Winans, I. M. Stagg, J. J. Cooper, E. S. Preston, Emanuel Hall, W. S. 
Birch, Isaac Ayres, D. P. Hartman, Thomas Colclazion, J. P. Force, W. F. 
Hemminway, G. W. Newton, C. P. Wright, J. Edwards, A. V. Gorell, J. P. 
Greer, and the present minister, Mr. Watts. 

" The Baptist Church at Lima was organized in the schoolhouse, Sep- 
tember 24, 1846, with fourteen members — Enoch Leighton, Phebe Leighton, 
Josiah Shumway, Lydia Shumway, Oliver Smith, Polly Smith, Abbott Flem- 
ing, Margaret Fleming, Cyrus Sprague, Oliver Cowan, Sally Cowan, Charlotte 
Flagg, Margaret Winnie and Mary J. Thrall. Ten of the above are dead. 
The society occupied the schoolhouse until 1853, when their present house of 
worship was erected. The following ministers have served the society : 

Revs. Cook, Spear, Fleming, Fish, Bailey, Briggs, , Chafi'ee, Lamb, 

Keene, Latham, Stevens and Childs. Accessions to the society, 129 by bap- 
tism ; 104 by letter and experience ; removals by death and dismissal, 193. 
Elder A. Fleming served the class from 1851 to 1855, the longest pastorate. 
In 1853, Elder D. S. Dean, evangelist, held an important revival, many join- 
ing, and the other societies sharing in the results. Elder Fleming preached 
the first sermon in the church. In 1881, he preached in the same house the 
Garfield memorial sermon. 

" Bishop Philander Chase was the first minister of the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church who preached in Lima. He was the first Bishop of the Diocese 


of Ohio. He preached at Lima as early as 1834, but resided in Michigan. 
In 1836-37, Rev. Mr. Whitesides preached every alternate Sunday at Lima. 
The church was established at Lima in 1851, and the church building erected 
in 1852. The first settled minister was Rev. John 0. Barton. 

" The Congregational Church at Ontario was first organized as a Pres- 
byterian Church in April, 1840, by Revs. Stephen Thompson and Christopher 
Cory. The change in the form of government was made in March, 1843, by 
a unanimous vote of the members. It, however, retained its connection with 
the Presbytery until 1854. For fourteen years, services were held in the chapel 
of the institute. In 1854, the present church building was erected. Some 
200 accessions have been made to the membership, seven of whom have become 
ministers. The resident pastors have been Stephen Thompson, D. M. Bard- 
well, C. M. Morehouse, A. G. Martin, H. C. Morse, E. Halliday and W. E. 
Catlin. The following Presbyterian ministers also served the society : A. S. 
Wells, Lewis Hamilton, B. Farrand, W. Pattinson and J. M. Drake. Great 
revivals were held by Morehouse, Farrand and Pattinson. 

" The nucleus of what is now the Methodist Church at Ontario was 
formed by the organization of a class consisting of eight members, by Rev. G. 
M. Boyd. Charles Doolittle was one of this number, as were also Joseph 
Wilson and wife. Services were held in the institute and in the public school- 
house until the erection of the present church. Rev. H. B. Hunt preaches to 
the class every alternate Sunday. Lima Township is well supplied with 
religious privileges." 


by weston a. goodspeed. 

Johnson Township— The Earliest Settlers— The First Election— The 
Tamarack— Wright's Corners and Valentine— Incidents and Advent- 
ures—Rise AND Subsequent Growth of Wolcottville— Industrial 
Interests— The Wolcottville Seminary— Miss Susan Griggs— Educa- 
tion AND Religion. 

JOHNSON is decidedly the lake township of the county. No other has 
such a number nor such a variety, as there are some fifteen either wholly 
or partly within the township limits. Oliver Lake is the largest, covering 
about six hundred acres, while Adams is perhaps second in size, though 
Witmer and Atwood are almost as large. Several of them have fine 
gravelly, or sandy, shores, and all are bordered by beautiful clusters of oak, 
maple or beech. There is great diversity in the soil which, in some places, is 
deep and black, like that in States farther west, while in other places it is 
sandy, gravelly, or even stony. 

Nelson Nichols and Peter Lampson were the first two settlers in the town- 
ship, both coming in June, 1834, the former entering his land (160 acres on 
Section 34) on the 23d of the same month, and the latter (eighty acres on Sec- 
tion 33) on the 30th. John Adams came to the township in November, 1834, 
entering his land (on the shore of the lake that took its name from him) on the 
15th of the same month. These three were the only men who entered land in 
Johnson Township prior to January 1, 1835. Levi Wright came to the township 
in the fall of 1834, but did not enter any land until February, 1835, at which 
time he purchased eighty acres on Section 13, and, within the next two years, 
over three hundred acres more. The following men also entered land in the 
township in 1835 : Samuel Benham, Peter Tillipaugh, George Walker, John 
Hughes, Jeremiah Bidwell, Robert Meeker, John Doty and Robert Latta. 
Several of these men never resided in the township. Daniel Martin was in the 
township in the fall of 1834, but he entered no land. Five men were present 
and assisted in the erection of Mr. Wright's cabin in the fall of 1834 ; they 
were John Adams, Nelson Nichols, Peter Lampson, Daniel Martin, and an- 
other whose name is forgotten. From the above it may be seen that Mr. 
Wright either built his house before he bought his land, or his daughter, Mrs. 
Vaughan, is mistaken when she says the house was erected during the autumn 
of 1834. It is probable that the house was built in 1834, as stated. Follow- 
ing the above men, there came in Thomas Oliver, Philo Taylor, two or three 
Indian traders at the Tamarack, George Wolcott, Henry Nichols, Almon 


White, Hiram Gardner, James Campbell, John Benham, Simeon Cain, John 
and Abraham Rowe, Allen Brundage, Stephen Pierce, William Dickinson, 
Thomas Koon, Nathan Sherman, William Hardin, Abraham Eiman, Charles 
Doty, Aaron Hill, John Parker, Abraham Brayton, George Dickinson, Samuel 
Barnes, Ozias Wright, Levi Wildman, Thomas Higgins, Mr. Olin, James 
Oliver, Selah Benham, Joseph Caswell, Anthony Dickinson, James Dunbar, 
Erastus Disbrow, William R. Hill, Samuel Koon, Henry Miller, Hiram 
Meeker, William McCollum, Ira Nichols, George Noble, James Parker, Ross 
Romine, Phineas Tillotson, William Taylor, John Vaughan, Alexander 
Vaughan, Isaac Wright and others, all locating in the township prior to 1840, 
The township of Johnson was created at the March session, 1837, of the 
County Commissioners, and an election was ordered the first Monday in April 
of the same year, at the residence of James Campbell, Hiram Humphreys being 
appointed Inspector by the board. At this election, James Campbell was 
elected Justice of the Peace ; but who the other officers were is not remembered. 
Before the creation of the township by the board, Johnson was attached to 
Bloomfield for election purposes. During the years 1836 and 1837, the greater 
number of the above men bought their land, and began the long and tedious 
process of clearing. It is stated by several old settlers, and currently believed 
in the township, that the first settlements of whites was at the Tamarack, as 
it was called, in the southeastern part. This seems to be confirmed by the 
statements of those who passed through the place at a very early day. The 
facts seem to be about as follows : As early as 1833, and perhaps 1832, the 
trading-house of Comparet & Bowrie, or Comparet & Cuttieaur, at Fort Wayne, 
sent to the Tamarack one or more Frenchmen to open a trading station with 
the Indians. A small cabin was at first built, but later a double log building 
designed for a hotel was erected, in which the traders had a small stock of 
goods, including whisky, which they sold to the Indians, who often came there 
in great numbers. A man named Runeaux was one of these traders. He is 
said to have been a brother-in-law of Comparet. After his death, which oc- 
curred quite early, his widow (Comparet's sister) conducted the tavern for the 
Fort Wayne firm. This tavern was built of tamarack poles, six or eight inches 
in diameter, and was known far and near as the " Tamarack House." In July, 
1836, Burris & Durand, or Burris & Hitchcock, built a dam and saw-mill just 
south of the Tamarack House. It was a small, rough frame structure, in which 
was placed a sash saw and an old-fashioned flutter wheel. The water-power 
was not very good, and the mill, at its best, could not turn out to exceed about 
1,500 feet of lumber per day. Hiram Hardy was one of the sawyers. The 
mill was owned by these men until about 1838, Avhen it and the land around 
there were purchased by Comparet, who, a short time afterward, opened a 
good store in another building that was erected. During the time the saw-mill 
was owned by Burris & Co., the Tamarack House was also conducted by Mr. 
Burris. His wife, in his absence, tended the bar. It is related that one day, 


while she was thus engaged, several Indians came to the tavern bar and bought 
and drank some whisky. One of them soon became half tipsy. He saw Mrs. 
Burris leave the room for a moment, going into the other part of the house on 
an errand, and when she attempted to open the door on her return, the tipsy 
Indian, who had stationed himself behind it, struck at her with his knife. But 
she was too quick and dodged the stroke, at the same moment leaping behind 
the counter and catching up a rifle that was standing loaded there. The In- 
dian had sense enough remaining to know what was coming if he remained 
there, so, without waiting for the "order of his going," he ran out of the door 
and off at full speed. Mrs. Burris ran to the door and fired at him, but, of 
course, missed the mark, and the redskin was soon out of sight in the woods. 
The others were ordered out, and peace was soon restored. 

In 1844, Comparet erected the grist-mill that is yet standing, dismantled 
and abandoned, on the south side of the river. It was a three-storied frame 
structure, and, in its day, was an excellent mill, turning out large quantities of 
excellent flour. It is said that Miss Jane Creigh, of Noble County, made the 
first bolting cloths. At the death of Mr. Comparet, the property went to his 
son3, and, in 1856, was purchased by 0. P. Grannis, in whose possession it 
remained until 1879. It is said that, in 1866, the mill cleared for its owner 
$3,000. In about 1845 (or at least just before his death), Comparet built the 
second saw-mill near the old one. At his death, his goods were sold out at 
auction. The Tamarack, in later years, became a noted resort for the blacklegs, 
as they had their hiding-places in the swamps and marshes in the vicinity. 
Stolen horses were brought to the vicinity and secreted. Passers of bogus coin 
and counterfeit bills found it a safe place when closely pursued. Men living in 
the neighborhood assisted them in the concealment of stolen property and the 
disguise of their personal identity. Tamarack was truly a bad place. 

When the first settlers reached Johnson Township, they found it a tangled 
wilderness, filled with wild animals and semi-wild men. The latter had quite a 
large temporary village on the west bank of Oliver Lake. They mingled freely 
with the white settlers, going to the cabins to barter, to beg or to borrow. 
They often stopped to stay all night and were perfectly satisfied to roll them- 
selves in their blankets and lie down until morning before the fire-place. Two 
of them, one cold night, called at the cabin of Thomas Oliver, and asked to 
remain until morning, and was granted the privilege. Mr. Oliver was engaged 
in some sort of work in his cabin that required the assistance of two additional 
persons. He therefore enlisted the two Indians, placing them so near the fire 
that in a short time they were reeking with sweat. At last the work was fin- 
ished. The next morning, Mr. Oliver concluded he wanted more help from 
his red brethren, as he had several instruments to be sharpened at the grind- 
stone. So he called upon them to turn the stone, but the Indians, true to 
their habits, shook their heads, wrapped their blankets around them and walked 
away. They did not bother Mr. Oliver again. They were in the habit of 


bringing venison to the settlers' cabins. This was traded for potatoes, beansy 
pumpkins, corn, etc. Occasionally a bear steak was brought in. Bears were 
rarely seen, but sometimes stragglers passed across the township, several of 
which were killed. It is said that Serenus Heibargen and Henry Randall 
were out hunting deer one morning after a big snow, when they came across a 
fresh bear track. They started in pursuit and finally found the animal in the 
middle of a swamp. They fired, badly wounding it, and, after a little chase- 
succeeded in getting in a couple more shots which finished the animal. The 
meat was divided up among the settlers. It was quite a thing to have bear's 
lard in the house. One night after Mr. and Mrs. Oliver had retired, the lat- 
ter was awakened by a strange noise in the door-yard. She arose, went to the 
door and peered out, and saw that the yard was full of deer, whose broad ant- 
lers could be seen against the sky. She told her husband, who got up and 
dressed, took his gun, and going to the door, shot one of the largest, where- 
upon the whole herd, including the wounded one, ran off at full speed. The 
next morning a large fine buck was found lying dead a few yards outside the 
dooryard. Mr. Oliver, one day, had a severe fight with a wounded buck. He 
shot it through the hips, and the animal fell on the ground, to all appearance 
dead. Mr. Oliver, without loading his gun, hurried up to cut its throat, and 
while leaning over the prostrate animal for that purpose, was suddenly kicked 
back by the deer, the knife flying off several yards. The furious animal leaped 
up on three legs, and with head down, made at the hunter. The dog of the 
latter came to his assistance. Mr. Oliver seized the buck by its antlers, and, 
by a little maneuvering, succeeded in getting his knife, whereupon he immedi- 
ately ham-strung the enraged animal. It fought on after that, standing only 
on its fore legs, but it was soon dispatched. It is related that Abraham Eiman, 
one day, set out a fire in the woods which soon got beyond his control. The 
roaring fiames swept southward and soon the Indian village went up in smoke. 
It is stated that the fire swept upon them so closely as to destroy some of their 
property. This roused them into retaliating for the injury done them. A 
band of warriors presented themselves at the residence of Mr. Eiman, demand- 
ing where the latter could be found, but they were informed that he was not 
there, although at that moment he was under the floor. Mr. Eiman kept close 
watch for several days until the wrath of the Indians had subsided. Many 
more incidents similar to the above might be narrated. An amusing story is 
told of an old settler, not a thousand miles from Valentine, who shall be name- 
less here. He was out in the woods one evening just at dark, several miles- 
from home. Being a timid man and unused to the ways of the woods, his fear& 
were naturally on the alert as he hurried on toward home. Two of his neigh- 
bors, who had been hunting and had become somewhat belated, saw him hurrying 
along, without being perceived by him., and knowing his disposition and weak- 
ness, resolved to give him a scare. They therefore began to imitate the howl of 
the gray wolf. This had an instantaneous effect on the settler. He glanced 




wildly around him. and then started on a rapid run in the direction of his 
cabin. The others followed fast after him, howling frequently, which had the 
effect to greatly accelerate his traveling qualities. Excellent time was made 
through the woods until the settler arrived panting and tired at his own door, 
announcing that he had been chased by wolves and that he had just escaped 
their clutches by the " skin of his teeth." The story is told at the expense of 
the old settler even to this day. 

Levi Wright entered his land in the vicinity of Wright's Corners, named 
thus in his honor. He had considerable property, and, as a matter of course, 
had considerable influence. A few years later, Joseph Head erected a house at 
the corners ; and still later Mr. Kimble built another, which was thrown open 
for the entertainment of the public. In about the year 1847, Vaughan & 
Wildman opened the first store at the corners. Their stock was worth several 
thousand dollars, and comprised about everything sold at that day in country 
stores. They did not confine their entire attention and capital to the store ; 
but bought considerable country produce, which was shipped to distant and 
larger places. They also dealt to some extent in live stock, buying the same 
from the settlers living over an extensive scope of country. It is said they 
made no little money in these various transactions. Two or three years after 
they had begun, Wildman sold his interests to his partner ; but the latter con- 
tinued until about the year 1851, when he, too, retired from the business. Con- 
trary to the usual condition of things, Mr. Wright was averse to the establish- 
ment of a small village at the corners. Mechanics and artisans applied to him 
for lots upon which to build their shops ; but he obstinately refused to sell, and 
was thus the means of preventing the growth of quite a village at that place. 
Had he encouraged its growth, as he alone could, the Grand Rapids & Indiana 
Railroad might be running through the place to-day. In spite of him, a small 
country village sprang up, and has endured until the present. Other mer- 
chants have been Messrs. Adams, Crandall, Strayer, and the present one, Mr. 
Woodruff; there have been times when there was no store. A post ofiice was 
established quite early. Some milling interests have been established there in 
late years. Mr. Wright kept some twenty cows, and his wife manufactured 
butter and cheese. In 1836, Mr. Wright procured about fifty apple trees and 
a number of currant bushes from a nursery on one of the neighboring prairies. 
These were set out at the corners, and, so far as known, were the first of the 
kind planted in the township. The population of the village has never exceed- 
ed eight or ten families. It has a fine schoolhouse and a fine church, which 
will be described further along. 

Valentine is yet in its infancy. Barney Newell lived in the present Val- 
entine House years before the village was thought of. Some twelve years ago, 
or immediately after the Grand Rapids Railroad was completed. Sergeant & 
Clugston built a saw-mill at the place. Steam and double circular saws have 
been used. The mill has been an excellent one. It was conducted by Ser- 


geant & Clugston until about two years ago, when the latter sold out to his 
partner. George Hobson obtained an interest in the mill a year ago. A con- 
siderable quantity of lumber is shipped away by rail. They are manufactur- 
ing a small quantity of lath at present. Some six or seven years ago. Albert 
Scoville, of Sturgis, Mich., erected a large frame building and began the man- 
ufacture of all kinds of wooden handles and staves for barrels, kegs, butter- 
tubs, etc. Four or five car loads have been shipped annually. A planing-mill 
is connected with the factory. Leonard Butts has obtained an interest in the 
business. In 1874, William Painter placed a stock of goods (no dry goods), 
valued at about $800, in the office of the present Valentine House. In 1877, 
when William Rowe opened his store, Mr. Painter disposed of his stock, and 
retired from the business. Rowe had some $700 worth of goods. He did not 
remain long, and was succeeded by James D. Clugston, who, with a stock 
worth about $1,000, remained about a year. Then Oscar Gardner was in with 
a stock about a year. He was succeeded by Albert Markel.^ Clark Betts is 
merchandising at present. The mercantile pursuit at Valentine has been ex- 
tremely fickle and uncertain. William is at present conducting a shoe-shop. 
George Slack was the first blacksmith in the village. William Painter opened his 
hotel (Valentine House) in 1874. Oscar Gardner also entertains travelers and 
others. William Painter was appointed Postmaster in November, 1873, retain- 
ing the office until April, 1881, when William Rowe received the appointment. 
In April, 1879, James McKibben employed a surveyor, and properly laid out 
Valentine, recording the plat at the county seat. Twenty-one lots were laid 
out on Sections 8 and 9. The present population is some eight or ten families. 
For a great many years, George Wolcott, a native of Connecticut, was 
the leading spirit at Wolcottville. He was a very energetic, hard-working, 
generous man, but burdened, as many of us are, with a high spirit. He had 
considerable means at his command, and, upon his arrival in September, 1837, 
began industrial enterprises on an extensive scale. He immediately built a 
saw-mill that soon became known far and near. It was completed in 1838, 
and a year or two later a small set of buhrs was placed in an addition built to 
it. This building was standing just below the present grist-mill. In about 
the year 1841, that portion of the building occupied by the sawing machinery 
was vacated, and a new saw-mill was erected some twelve or fifteen rods farther 
up the race, the old room being fitted up with machinery for carding wool. 
About this time, Mr. Wolcott had in his employ many workmen, as he was 
conducting quite a large farm in connection with his industrial enterprises. 
Philo Taylor, who purchased a farm just north of Wolcottville, in June, 1836, 
became a well-known and prominent man. Himself and sons have done a 
great deal to render Wolcottville an attractive place, and its present thrifty 
condition is largely due to their efforts and those of L. L. Wildman. In about 
the year 1839, Mr. Wolcott built a storeroom and placed therein goods worth 
about $1,000, but subsequently greatly increased the stock. Eight or ten years 


after beginning, he probably had on hand $7,000 worth of goods. At this period, 
his trade was large, and, of course, lucrative. While he was conducting the 
old grist-mill, it is said he boarded, free of charge, the men who came to him 
for flour. The old set of buhrs had been obtained of Mr. 0. P. Grannis, who 
had come to the county in 1834, first locating near Lima, where he engaged in 
the milling business, but subsequently removed to the Tamarack, where he yet 
resides. In 1845, Mr. Wolcott erected the present grist-mill, placing therein 
the old set of buhrs and two new ones. This mill is yet in operation, and, in 
its day, has been one of the best for miles around. With it, the owner did a 
large amount of merchant work, besides custom work, over a large extent of 
country. In 1847, he built a new storeroom to accommodate his stock of 
goods that had greatly increased. It is said that at one time Mr. Wolcott was 
engaged in seven different occupations — milling, sawing, blacksmithing, mer- 
chandising, "coopering," farming and manufacturing potash. He probably 
had twenty workmen employed at one time. He had erected some fifteen 
buildings in the village, which were rented or sold as required. It is said that 
his brother James had an interest in the property at the village. No cloth 
was manufactured at the carding-mill, which was conducted about four years. 
A small distillery was conducted for a short time at Wolcottville, some say by 
Mi\ Weston, and others by Mr. Wolcott. Both, perhaps, had an interest in it. 
The kegs, barrels, etc., manufactured at the small cooper-shop, were probably 
intended for and used in this distillery. What liquor was manufactured there 
was consumed about as fast as it was made. A considerable quantity of pearl- 
ash was manufactured at the ashery, and shipped away by wagon. 0. B. Tay- 
lor remembers of going there one night, when a boy, with a quantity of eggs 
(he did not say where they were obtained), and of roasting them in the hot 
ashes. He also well remembers that many of the eggs had suffered se- 
verely by the process of incubation, and that he ^received the full benefit (?) of 
that mysterious process. Is the trite axiom, " The way of the transgressor is 
hard," applicable in this case ? 

In about the year 1851, Mr. Wolcott disposed of his various industrial 
pursuits, McMeans & Weston, it is said, buying the mills and perhaps other 
property. After a few years, these men sold out to Wilbur & Hitchcock, who 
owned the mills until 1860, when they were purchased by Taylor & Wildman. 
In 1866, they went to other parties. Among the industries that have flour- 
ished in the village are the following: A rake factory, owned and operated by 
Alvin Hamlin. He continued the occupation about ten years, and turned out 
no small number of implements. A tannery, owned by Anthony Watson, 
which was conducted some ten years. In about the year 1855, E. Bunco built 
a foundry, and commenced the manufacture of plows, scrapers, kettles, machine- 
castings, etc. The industry was continued about fifteen years, passing through 
the hands of Paulus & Ewing, Higgins & Harnes, Mr. Hutchins, and, at last, 
to Mr. Cochran, in whose possession it was abandoned. A few years ago, Ed 


Harding built a new foundry, which is being conducted by him at present. 
Moon & Rogers are the present proprietors of a carriage factory. It was first 
established some eight or ten years ago, and some changes in the ownership 
have since been made. Some ten or twelve years ago, Paulus & Yeager built a 
planing-mill. It is now owned by Paulus & Nichols. Doors, blinds, sash, etc., 
etc., are manufactured. Mr. Haley owns a cooper shop. 

L. L. Wildman opened the second store in 1849. He had previously been 
in business at Wright's Corners. He began with about $3,000 worth of ^oods, 
and continued merchandising some sixteen years, having associated with him at 
different times William Taylor, Mr. Law, 0. B. Taylor and others. He was a 
member of the excellent firm of 0. B. Taylor & Co., that continued about seven 
years ; also of the firm Taylor & Wildman. H. L. Taylor was associated in 
the partnership of 0. B. & H. L. Taylor. Considerable money was made 
during the war by these men. Taylor & Woodruff were merchants for a few 
years at the close of the war. Mr. Wildman went into the hardware business 
in 1867. More of this may be learned by asking him. In 1873, he began a 
private banking business under the name Wildman's Exchange Bank, the same 
being continued until the present. There are now in Wolcottville three dry 
goods stores, one grocery, three drug stores, one hardware store, one stove and 
tinware establishment, two milliners, one art-gallery, one harness shop, one 
furniture shop, etc., etc. The estimated population, decennially, is as follows : 
In 1840, 20; in 1850, 100; in 1860, 300; in 1870, 450; in 1880,500. 
Wolcottville is'one of the liveliest business points of the size in the State. 
This is given on the authority of commercial travelers who ought to know. 

Dr. Leonard Barber, who resided at Northport in Noble County, was the 
first physician to administer to the bodily ills of the citizens of Wolcottville. 
Dr. Myers was perhaps the first resident physician. Others have been Eno, 
Chappell, Gower, White, Raby, Scovill, Shepard and others. Lawyers have 
lately dared the frowns of the villagers by hanging out their signs. An Odd 
Fellows' Lodge was instituted May 10, 1875, with the following charter mem- 
bers : A. Axel, M. Westler, W. H. Rodgers, L. D. McGowen, A. Blackman, 
J. White, N. M. Bassett, E. Bryan, J. L. McQueen, J. Bally and E. Blodget. 
The present membership is about twenty-seven. The lodge is out of debt, and 
has about $500 worth of property, but has no hall. The present officers are 
M. Westler, N. G. ; D. Whitmer, V. G. ; E. Stanbaugh, Treasurer ; W. H. 
Rodgers, Secretary. The Masons also have a lodge, which was instituted in 
May, 1868, with the following charter members: A. Eminger, William 
Myers, William Guiser, G. Miller, N. Nunun, C. Hurlbert. The present offi- 
cers are John Grannis, W. M. ; William Culver, S. W. ; George Nunun, J. 
W. ; 0. B. Taylor, Treasurer; W. H. Rodgers, Secretary. The lodge is out 
of debt and in good financial condition. Present membership is about forty-two. 

In about 1839, Mr. Sabin built a dam and a saw-mill on the river a short 
distance west of Wolcottville. A few years later, he sold out to Dr. Leonard 


<-y .mHNSON TP. 


Barber, who operated it successfully for a long period. At last it went to 
Andrew Ponty, thence to John Swain, thence to Aaron Kimmell, thence to 
Horace Hamlin. 

Wolcottville was laid out into thirty-three lots and recorded in October, 

In 1880, there were living in the township the following persons over 
seventy-five years of age : Gideon B. Johnson, seventy-five ; William Ryan, 
eighty-eight ; George Meeker, seventy-seven ; Luke Briggs, seventy-eight ; 
William Loret, eighty-one; John Martin, seventy-seven; Nathaniel W. Bates, 
seventy-eight ; Tempy Olenhouse, eighty-five ; Mary Wolcott, seventy-six. 

Where the first school in the township was taught is not clear, but was, 
most probably, at Wright's Corners. A log schoolhouse was erected there at a 
very early day, and used until not far from 1848, when a small frame structure 
took its place. This was used until after the last war, when another frame was 
built, but this house, in a few years, became too small to hold comfortably all 
the scholars, and, at last, in 1878, the present fine two-storied brick building 
was constructed at a cost of over $2,000. Two teachers are now employed. 
The evidence seems to show that the first school was taught at the corners as 
early as 18.36, although it might have been a year later, or, as Mrs. (Wright) 
Vaughan thinks, a year earlier. The first school is remembered as being very 
insignificant, and it is to be presumed that very little was learned save mis- 
chief. In 1838, Mr. Barns, who lived a short distance north of Wolcottville, 
built a log barn, in which his daughter taught during the summer of the same 
year. Wolcott, Taylor, Culver, Lampson, Nichols and others sent to her. 
No other term was taught there, as at its close the house was occupied by Mr. 
Barns' domestic animals. In about the year 1839, a log schoolhouse was built 
a half mile north of Wolcottville, or one mile north of the township line. 
Ozias Wright taught the first term in this house the same year. After a few 
years, the building was destroyed hy fire, and another was built in its place, 
which was used until the Seminary was erected. Several early terms were 
taught in a house belonging to Mr. Wolcott, Volucia Brown being one of the 
teachers. In 1838, a log schoolhouse was erected half a mile south of Wol- 
cottville. Levi L. Wildman became the first pedagogue, receiving $10 per 
month and "boarding round." McQueen, Nichols, Pierce, Dyer, Hovey, 
Lampson, Munger, Cunningham, Greenman, Taylor, and perhaps others, sent 
children to him. No schoolhouse was built in Wolcottville until several 
years before the Seminary was abandoned. At that time a frame house was 
built and used until the present ample, two-storied frame house was erected 
some ten years ago at a cost of about $2,800, under a contract with Henry 
Haller. Frank P. Taylor is the present Principal, and has two assistants. 
In about the year 1841, a log schoolhouse was erected one mile north of the 
Tamarack. Among those who sent children here were Jeremiah Bidwell, 
Phineas Tillotson, George Meeker, Daniel Lewis, Henry Miller, Robert 


Meeker, Oliver Osborn and others. After five or six years of use, this house 
was abandoned, and a frame was built at the same place, which was burned 
down two years later and replaced with another, which lasted until the present 
brick house was erected in 1881. A log schoolhouse was erected at Valentine, 
not far from 1840, Thomas Oliver furnishing a portion of the lumber, and 
Abraham Eiman making the shingles. Hiram Gardner helped build the house. 
Elmira Crandall was one of the first teachers, her term being the winter of 
1842-43. She boarded at Hiram Gardner's, paying two bushels of corn per 
week for her board. This house was used until about 1848. A log dwelling 
on the Schoonover farm was devoted to the uses of education after that, but 
was finally destroyed by fire about twenty-five years ago, when the present 
small frame was built. Since the village of Valentine has sprung up with an 
increase of families to send to school, the house has become too small to prop- 
erly accommodate the children. A new and larger house should be built with- 
out delay. A log schoolhouse was built near Mr. Dickinson's, or near Mr. 
Koon's, in 1841. Lucretia Crandall, now the wife of Hiram Gardner, was the 
first teacher, most probably. She taught during the summer of that year, and 
was paid ten shillings per week. During the winter of 1840-41, this lady 
taught in a building belonging to Almon White, and was paid twelve shillings 
per week. The school building north of Oliver Lake was erected some twenty- 
one years ago, Benjamin Williams being the first teacher. A log building in 
the northeastern part, on A. J. Rayer's farm, was devoted to school purposes 
as early as 1842. It was probably used until a schoolhouse was constructed 
about six years later. The present country schools are above the average. 

The most important school in the township, and one of the most important 
in the county, was the " Wolcottville Seminary." In 1851, ex-Gov. 
Slade of Vermont was President of the National Board of Education. The 
Protestant denominations in the East saw, with concern, that the Roman Cath- 
olics, with greater religious enterprise, were sending teachers out into the back- 
woods, and were founding many Catholic schools and churches in the great West. 
This led to the creation of the above-mentioned Board of Education, a Protestant 
organization, whose object was the establishment of Protestant schools and 
churches in the backwoods. This led to a strong demand for Christian work- 
ers who were willing to take their chances in the rapidly growing West. About 
this time, also, Mr. Wolcott became dissatisfied, for some reason, with the 
schools in his vicinity, whereupon he wrote to ex-Gov. Slade, asking that 
a thoroughly competent Christian teacher be sent out to Wolcottville, to labor 
as a governess in his family until some arrangement could be made for her in a 
public school. It had entered Mr. Wolcott's mind to build a seminary at Wol- 
cottville. Ex-Gov. Slade promptly sent out Miss Susan Griggs, a very 
' earnest, true-hearted Christian lady. She was immediately employed as gov- 
erness in Mr. Wolcott's family at a salary of $250 per year, and, to commence 
with, had but one scholar. Miss Griggs reached Wolcottville and began her 


labors in October, 1851. Her presence at the village was soon known, and 
several citizens asked that she might teach their children. A house belonging 
to Mr. Wolcott was fitted up for her, in which she taught during the winter of 
1851-52, having twelve scholars. She also taught in this house the following 
summer, having thirty scholars. During the summer of 1852, Mr. Wolcott, at 
an expense of over $3,000, erected the Seminary building, and also a large frame 
structure in which students might find rooms while attending the school. In 
November, 1852, school in the Seminary was begun. A tuition of $3.50 was 
asked for the term of eleven weeks, and if Latin, French, German, painting in 
oil or music were desired, extra tuition must be paid. About fifty students 
were in attendance during the winter. Miss Eliza Dudley, of York State, was 
employed as assistant. Miss Griggs was to have all she could realize from the 
school tuition, and was required to keep the buildings in repair. The doors of 
the Seminary were thrown open to young men, although the school was origi- 
nally designed for females alone. Here it was that Miss Griggs, for seventeen 
long years, labored in the field she had chosen. Sometimes she had enrolled as 
high as 115 students, the average being about sixty-five for the entire period. 
Sometimes two assistants were required. Diplomas were not granted. The 
Seminary was not denominational, though Christian exercises were regularly 
held. A catalogue was published, and perhaps two- thirds of the students came 
from abroad. The effect of the school upon the neighborhood was soon seen. 
Education and intelligence were at a premium, and Wolcottville acquired fame 
over a large section of country for its thrift, brightness and general excellence. 
Too much cannot be said in praise of Misa Griggs. She gave herself no relaxa- 
tion from labor, and, as a necessary consequence, lost her health in 1869, and 
was compelled to sever her connection with the Seminary, greatly to her regret 
A Sunday school was organized in the Seminary in 1852, under the superin- 
tendence of Miss Griggs, and continued through the years until school there 
ended. Miss Griggs was Superintendent for thirteen consecutive years. 
Through her earnest determination alone, the Sunday school not only lived, 
but greatly prospered, with an average attendance of about fifty. Miss Griggs 
has shown a heart and a character extremely rare in this gilded age of money- 
making and sordid selfishness. The best years of her life have been spent is 
self-denial, charity, humanity, and pure womanly work. Her health has been 
sacrificed, her means employed, and her life dedicated to the struggle of widen- 
ing the sphere of Christian intelligence and human happiness. True as a mag- 
net to her life duties, she has beaten down all obstacles, and inspired those 
around her with the enjoyment of noble endeavor. In view of her long years 
of labor at the village, how scores have been made happier by her, how hun- 
dreds have gone out from her instruction with truer ideas of life and its duties, 
how patient self-denial and faith in God have been the watchwords of this 
noble woman, it is unquestionably due her from the citizens that her declining 
years be rendered free from the bitterness of poverty and thanklessness. And 


the part borne by Mr. Wolcott, does not that deserve recognition ? All the 
expense of erecting the buildings was sustained by him. In one year he paid 
as high as $75 tuition, when, under the contract with Miss Griggs, his children 
were to receive instruction free of charge. Lack of generosity was not one of 
his faults. 

The Evangelical Lutheran society, which has a frame church on Section 
15, was organized in 1856 by Rev. J. G. Biddle. During the winter of 1856- 
57, a memorable revival was conducted by Rev. Biddle. Among the early 
members were Elias Plank and wife, Mrs. Mariah Teeter, Michael Hoff and 
wife, Tobias Aichele and wife, Mr. Alspaugh and wife, Daniel Holsinger and 
wife, and others. In 1858, the membership was about fifty. The pastors after 
Rev. Biddle have been A. -J. Kromer, W. Waltman, Jabez Shafer, D. Smith, 
Leander Kiser, and, at present, L. Rice. The church was erected in 1860, and 
cost about $1,600. The society has preaching every two weeks.- Sunday 
school has been had occasionally. In 1840, a Methodist Episcopal society was 
organized near Valentine, by John and Abraham Rowe. Among the early 
members were the Rowes, the Brundages, the Flints, the Braytons and others. 
For a time they met in John Rowe's house; but later, schoolhouses were used. 
The society has lived until the present It has now a fine brick church at Val- 
entine, erected last year at a cost of about $3,000. The Albrights effected an 
organization at Wright's Corners about the close of the last war. Their fine 
church was erected twelve or thirteen years ago. The society is prosperous. 
In July, 1837, the following persons organized a Baptist society at Wolcott- 
ville : Samuel Barnes and wife, Almon White and wife, Dr. Perkins and wife, 
D. A. Munger and wife, Nancy Dickinson, Julia A. Pierce and Sister Sawyer. 
Elder McMack presided, and L. M. Chont acted as clerk. Elder Burroughs 
became the first pastor, continuing until 1845, when Elder C. H. Blanchard 
succeeded him, giving the society half his time. Elder Blanchard has been 
with the society the greater portion of the time since. In 1843, a log meeting 
house was built one-half mile south of the village, and used until 1851, when 
the frame church was erected at Wolcottville. In 1844, the Sunday school was 
organized. The Methodists effected an organization at Wolcottville in 1839, 
under the ministration of Revs. Posey and Allen. The society started with but 
four members, A. Witter, Mrs. Witter, Kizziah Nichols, and another, whose name 
is not remembered. Schoolhouses and dwellings were the first meeting houses. 
A building owned by Ozias Wright was used several years. The society became 
quite strong in 1844 ; but, in 1858, had weakened until only seven persons be- 
longed — seven women — as follows : Susan Griggs, Mary A. Taylor, Melinda 
Strayer, Mrs. Strayer, and three others. The society got its first real start 
from a revival held in the Seminary building by Rev. D. P. Hartman, at which 
time some thirty persons became members. About as many more joined at the 
time of a revival held by Rev. William Van Slack. Meetings were held in the 
Seminary until 1874, at which time the church was built at a cost of about 


$3,000. As stated above, Miss Griggs conducted the Sunday school for years, 
but was finally succeeded by Mr. Cutler. The society is now strong and pros- 
perous. Posey and Allen organized a Methodist society at the Tamarack in 
1840. There were some eight members at first. In 1852, a small frame 
church was built, and was occupied by the society until about ten years ago, 
since which time the membership has been so small that but few meetings have 
been held. The church is at present used to hold funerals in, there being a 
cemetery near it. Other small religious societies have flourished in the town- 
ship at different times. 




Van Buren Township— Surface Features— Incidents of Early Settlement 
—Catalogue of Pioneers— Yillagb of Marion— Industrial Growth — 
Village of Van Buren— The Dwight and Barnes Tragedy— Learning 
AND Religion. 

VAN BUREN, as named by the founder of the second village of the 
county in honor of the then President-elect, was " admitted into the 
Union " in 1837. Van Buren is the northwest township of the county, 
bounded by the Michigan line on the north and Elkhart County on the west, 
and comprises a variety of lands — level, fine farming land in the east, and in 
the west a beautiful country, which in part compensates for a little lack in suit- 
ability for the farmer, by affording, in its rolling hills and beautiful lakes, a 
refreshing relief from the monotony of sandy prairies. 

The township is well watered by Pigeon River, flowing through the middle, 
and its tributaries: Crooked Creek to the north, and Shipshewana, Muddy 
and Buck Runs at the south. Pigeon River supplies a valuable water-power, 
which was early utilized, and in such capacity that surveys were made at an 
'early day to discover if it could be made navigable as an outlet for this region 
to the lakes. But the development of railroads soon discouraged that project. 
The most important lakes are on the boundary lines — on the Elkhart line: East 
Lake and Stone Lake, the latter interesting as the most beautiful of the 
county and as the scene of a sadly romantic tragedy. One- half mile from this 
place lies Fish Lake, about a mile in length, on the State line. These lakes 
are rendered very attractive by the unbroken sweep of sandy beach surround- 
ing them, and the picturesqueness of the inclosing hills. They are part of a 
group which includes Klinger's Lake, a well-known resort on the Lake Shore 
Railway, further to the north across the line in Michigan. A very large part 
of the land at the first settlement was in marshes, and though this area has 
been much reduced, perhaps one-eighth of the land is marsh. The "Big 
Marsh " includes most of this territory. At the January session of the Com- 
missioners, in 1837, it was ordered that all the county north of Township 86, and 
west of the center line of Section 9, be set off as Van Buren Township, and 
John Olney appointed Inspector, and an election set for the first Monday in 
April for Justice of the Peace, at the house of Seldon Martin. This first elec- 
tion, at the site of the village of Van Buren, called out some thirty voters, but 
the records are not to be found, and it is only remembered that one Pierce was 
the first Justice. The next incumbent was Jesse Harding. 


The first comers, so far as known, were Jesse Huntsman, who took pos- 
session of the only piece of prairie land in the township in 1829, before the 
land was on the market, and Nehemiah Coldren, who in the same year built 
the first log house, near the bridge over Crooked Creek. Coldren entered land 
later in Greenfield. But the first settlement was made east of the village, on 
land then well timbered, but remarkably clear from underbrush, owing to the 
fires started by the Indians. Here the grass grew luxuriantly, which was as 
near as could be had to milk in the absence of kine, and the trees were full of 
wild honey. The land was open to purchase in 1831, at the land office in Fort 
Wayne, and in this year Ami Lawrence, Obadiah Lawrence, Nathaniel Calla- 
han and Asa Olney went from Lima to Fort Wayne on foot, following the In- 
dian trail, to enter farms. Soon after, '" Uncle " Asa Olney made the same crip 
alone, in a three days' journey. He remembers distinctly some incidents of 
this tramp through the forests. The prairie wolves were numerous then, and 
their noise, as they cracked the bones of their evening meal, made no agreeable 
serenade as he tried to sleep. One night, during his solitary journey, a party 
of Pottawatomies held a war dance and jubilee near the place at which he was 
resting, over the body of some enemy which they had given a quick pass to the 
happy hunting grounds. Asa Olney was called on to serve on a jury at 
Goshen before the separation of La Grange from Elkhart County. As an in- 
stance of the ways and means of the pioneers : Mr. Olney, who entered at first 
but eighty acres, enlarged his farm considerably by the proceeds of a two-acre 
patch of turnips, and a half acre of melons. The new sandy land produced 
wonderful vines. Melons of thirty pounds were ordinary, and pumpkins fre- 
quently reached the comfortable weight of 100 pounds. The vegetables found 
a good market at White Pigeon and Constantino, Mich. This earliest party of 
settlers was composed of Nathaniel Callahan, with his family, one of whom, 
Ami, still lives in the township (other sons died, Almon, in 1846, and Mills, in 
May, 1881) ; Obadiah Lawrence, who died in 1852 ; his brother, Ami Law- 
rence (died 1839), whose daughter Annie was the wife of the elder Callahan ; 
Asa Olney, brother-in-law of Nathaniel Callahan, who, with his wife, is still 
living in the township ; and his brother John Olney, whose sons, Jackson and 
William, are still on the homestead. They were all from Washington County, 
Ohio, and settled within two miles east of Van Buren, at what might be called 
the Crooked Creek settlement. In the spring of 1831, John Cook, an En- 
glishman, entered land in Section 17, where his son William still resides. Cook 
soon succumbed to pioneer hardship, and died in August, 1831. His was the 
first death among the settlers. At the other portal of existence, the first events 
which the chronicler can discover were the births of a brother of Ami Calla- 
han, who died at the age of one year; of Sylvanus Olney, born February 20, 
1832, who died here July 10, 1879, and Huldah Lawrence, December 25, 1832. 
The pioneers, in the custom, since become quite popular and romantic, of a 
matrimonial journey to Michigan, were Hiram Harding, of Lima, and Miss Lola 


Callahan, who were married at White Pigeon. Then, however, that was the 
nearest place where the legal sanction could be found. Since then, a great 
many lovers, without the same necessity, have made White Pigeon their Gretna 
Green. Another early wedding was that of Alfred Martin, of Van Buren, and 
Ellen Hubson, of White Pigeon. In 1833, the neighborhood was increased by 
the settlement of Tyler Fleming and John and David Cowan. Philip Munger, 
who died about 1842, and Kellogg Munger, who lived until the last decade, 
were the new-comers of the next year. 

In June, 1835, Peter and Nicholas I. Sixby entered lands in Sections 10 
and 14. Solomon Whitney settled in the Crooked Creek neighborhood in 
1836, and Robert Scott, who, however, died after a year's residence. These 
were families of this neighborhood for several years. Among later comers was, 
in 1843, Arby Crane, who afterward removed to Lima and La Grange. His 
son, Samuel D. Crane, became County Superintendent. When the settlement 
began again to increase after the "sickly season," it was in such a rapid man- 
ner as to defy the chronicler. The first burial-place of the neighborhood was 
on Callahan's land, in Section 17, where members of the Callahan family, Philip 
Munger and Robert Scott were buried. The earliest public ground was in 
Section 20, on the White Pigeon road. On the lands of Berry and John 
Cook, in addition to these, there were private burial-places. 

The first road to be surveyed was through this settlement — the Defiance 
& White Pigeon road — of which Judges Newton and Seeley were viewers, and 
John Kromer, surveyor. The first county road in the township was laid out in 
1838, joining the Defiance road, between Sections 17 and 20 in the east. The 
second State road passed through the center of the township, and is called the 
Vistula road, as it was intended to connect "Vistula on the Maumee " — now 
Toledo — with South Bend. Thomas P. Bulla and John Kromer surveyed the 
road in 1835. There were settlements along the line of this road south of the 
river, before the survey. John Belote and his son Elmer were here in 
October, 1834, and built a house on the present Belote farm next year. The 
father was from Western New York, where he had been a member of an inde- 
pendent company of horse in the war of 1812. He was one of the first 
Trustees, and held that place for several years. He died August 20, 1857, at 
the age of sixty-two. Elmer Belote, a steadfast bachelor, is still a well-known 
citizen, and has served the county for two terms as Coroner. His brother, 
James S. Belote, died in 1865. In the winter of 1834-35, the Belotes built a 
log bridge across the river, on their land, which endured seven or eight years. 
Before that a canoe had been used as a makeshift for a ferry at this point, and 
travelers on the other side, with good voices, were promptly served. A sub- 
stantial bridge now spans the stream at this point, and also the Sidener bridge, 
at another old crossing, a mile below. William Tharp, in Section 30, and 
Jacob Butt, who died here, in 1868, aged seventy-two, came in at the same 
time as the Belotes. In 1835, Nicholas Sidener, of Clearfield County, Ohio, 






came to his present farm in Section 30, and with him, his brother, Samuel 
Sidener, who afterward removed. Samuel Berry lived in this vicinity, George 
Turnbull, who, with Ami Whitney, was chosen Constable in September, 1837, 
were in the neighborhood, and Edward Robbins and one Nobles. These were 
probably all the earliest settlers here, and of them only Nicholas Sidener and 
Elmer Belote are still residents at the writing of this history. 

A burial-place in Section 30, on the Vistula road, known as the Belote 
Graveyard, was opened in 1836, and is the last resting-place of the following old 
settlers : Mrs. John Fowler, died 1851, aged fifty-one ; Sylvanus Olney ; 
Peter Fox, died 1859, aged fifty ; Jacob Butt, John Belote, James S. Belote 
and Elisha Tharp. 

On the Vistula road, upon the present farm of Richard L. Newman, a 
village was laid out in June, 1836, by Francis Rhoads, Isaac Buckley and 
Eppah Robbins, who were then the owners of the land. The village was 
named Marion and a tavern was erected by the owner of the plat, and a store 
started by James Belote and Buckley. By the vigorous efforts of the project- 
ors of Marion, quite a "huddle " was built up, but it soon became evident that 
it could never grow up to the paper, and the owners of the lots joined in a 
petition to have the village resolved into wheat fields, and thus Marion disap- 
peared forever. John Fowler lived in the place for a short time. He was the 
owner of a distillery near Buck Creek. Best was another of the residents. 
A saw-mill was built by Harding & Johnson on Buck Creek in 1836 and run 
for several years. 

The western portion of the township began to receive settlers about 1836. 
In November of this year, Peter L. Keightley, brother of John Keightley, of 
Newbury, a native of Lincolnshire, England, came into the township and 
occupied his land in Section 22. Mr. Keightley used to take the liberties 
ordinary in the old country with the letter " h." Not far from his place there 
was a tree in the road with the letter L cut upon it, which was a well-known 
land-mark, and it is still told that Mr. Keightley 's manner of directing travelers 
to "go to the heL," and so on, would frequently cause a misunderstanding. 
Mr. Keightley is still an honored resident of the neighborhood where he has 
spent so much of his life. 

About 1837, there settled west of Van Buren, Jacob Moak, whose son 
Peter now lives near the State line. Other settlers, west of the river, up to 
1840, were Robert and John Marshall, Englishmen, Bower, George W. Fergu- 
son, Garel Osborne, John Sallier (who made the first clearing in the southwest, 
and died before 1840), and several on the Vistula road near the county line, 
including Widow Dodd, William Mack, whose sons are still upon the old farm ; 
and at Stone Lake, William Davis, a friendly Quaker who is kindly remem- 

The first burial-ground in this vicinity was near the county line, in 
what was called the Mack settlement. The first interment was of Josiah 


Remington, at which the sermon was preached by a young minister, John P. 
Jones, since prominent in county and State history. 

Charles D wight, with his wife and child, came to the quarter section which 
he now resides upon, March 9, 1841. Mr. D wight in his early days was a 
boatman upon the Erie Canal in New York. He is a member of the seventh 
generation in America of this distinguished family. His later life has been 
saddened by the tragedy of which an account is given elsewhere, in which his 
youngest daughter was the victim. In 1843, Alonzo Clark settled near the 
county line, and Aaron Freeman, still a prominent citizen of the township, came 
upon his farm in the same year. 

Crooked Creek curves down into Indiana, inclosing with a lake to the north 
a fertile territory called " The Island." This land was held by speculators at 
first, and one of the earliest actual settlements upon it was by John Dalton in 
1840. Mr. Dalton had been with his brother James in White Pigeon since 
1836, where he had come from Rochester, N. Y. In 1850, he bought the Van 
Buren Mills, and has since resided in the village, where he has a comfortable 
residence. Mr. Dalton, starting with little of this world's goods, has amassed 
a considerable fortune. 

About 1850, a settlement was started in the southwest corner called New 
Pennsylvania. John L. Rhoades, Jacob Mehl and John Foster were the earli- 
est settlers, but all have removed. They were all Pennsylvanians. The 
schoolhouse on this section now bears the name of the settlement. John Kling- 
aman made the latest original entry of land, taking the southeast quarter of this 
section in May, 1848. 

About the year 1840, the population began to increase rapidly, and as a 
consequence the prices of provisions began a considerable rise. This was possi- 
ble, however, and the prices do not seem extravagant at this time. In 1834, 
wheat drawn to Constantine, Mich., brought only 35 cents, and corn 18 cents, 
but in 1836 the prices were doubled. Before the Van Buren Mills were built, 
about a week would be consumed in going to mill, and farmers often preferred 
to grind a small grist in a common coffee-mill. It was delicate work raising 
wheat then. About one-sixth of it was apt to be smutty, and the cereal had to 
be washed and spread out to dry upon the upper chamber floors. Farmers 
of the early day hardly dreamed of the wholesale methods of modern agri- 

By 1837, the land was practically all taken up by actual settlers and spec- 
tators, and was held at $5 per acre. The most efficient aid in the development 
of the country has been the building of the Michigan Southern Railway, 
through one of the early trading points. White Pigeon. At that time land at 
once rose from $10 to $20 per acre. Since then the advance in prosperity has 
been steady and marked. The population has gradually increased and em- 
braces, besides those already named, many men of wealth and social importance. 
In politics the township has been steadily Republican. The records show the 


following persons to have served as Justices of the Peace, though the list may 
not be complete : Alfred Martin, 1841-46 ; Charles Dwight, 1844-49 ; Da- 
vid Elmore, 1844-49 ; H. B. Ostrander, 1849-54 ; Josiah B. Cook, 1851-52 ; 
C. W. Wilson, 1852-68 ; John W. Mclntyre, 1854-58 ; C. W. Chapin, 1867- 
77 ; James Galloway, 1869-73 ; James Haggerty, 1877 ; Edwin Owen, 1878. 

Schools were a matter to which the eai-liest comers gave their attention. 
Until the sale of the school lands, the settlers paid their teachers directly, 
which was not a severe tax, as the usual rate was about $1 a week. 
Clarissa Hunger was the first school-ma'am, and gathered the young ideas at a 
log schoolhouse on the land of Nathaniel Callahan in Section 17. Later, a 
school was started at the village, in 1835, at Marion, and, in 1836 or 1837, 
another south of the river at Nicholas Sidener's, where a graveyard now is. 
In the west the earliest were the Marshall Schoolhouse on the Vistula road, the 
Bethel on Section 17, and a log house on the shore of Stone Lake. 

There are now in the township ten neat frame houses, valued at $6,000, 
which are attended by 410 pupils. Eleven teachers are employed at an aver- 
age rate of $1.50 for men and $1.37 for women. In 1880, some $2,500 were 
expended for tuition. 

The history of the churches is another matter intimately connected with 
the lives of the people. A Methodist Episcopal society yet exists at Van 
Buren, which was organized in 1834 by Charles Best, an Ohio exhorter. There 
were about five members, including Esther and John Olney and Nancy Calla- 
han. The first preacher in the township was Christopher Cory, a Presbyterian 
minister, then of White Pigeon. In 1848, the Methodist Church at Van 
Buren was erected, and has since been used as a union meeting-house. 

In the west, the earliest religious meetings were held at the house of Jason 
and George Jones, north of the old Bethel Schoolhouse, in 1841 or 1842, 
Prayer-meetings were held there, and at the time of the Millerite excitement 
they were largely attended. It was in "about 1843" that the world was to 
finish up its career, and the year before, 1842, Elders Speers, Stalker and 
Burns, of "somewhere about" Orland, commenced revival meetings in the old 
Callahan Schoolhouse. A very exciting and memorable time followed. The 
meetings lasted six weeks, and about forty persons were converted. The Bap- 
tist Church in Van Buren was organized in 1858, with fifteen members. Since 
then they have steadily maintained their meetings, and have since received 
some forty members ; but, owing to constant changes in residence, the society is 
hardly more numerous now than at first. In 1864, a Methodist society was 
organized at the Marshall Schoolhouse by George W. Newton. 

The Protestant Methodist society in Van Buren was organized by Fred 
Soy about 1851, with twenty-five or thirty members, as the result of an exten- 
sive revival. About 1869, an " Abright " or Evangelist Church was organ- 
ized and a church built on the Defiance road, two miles east of the village, at a 
<30St of about $2,400. There were about fifty members in 1881. 


The only county officers the township has furnished besides Coroner 
Belote have been Gabriel T. Mclntyre, who was a resident- of the township a 
year or two before his election as Sheriff, in 1853, and Seldon Martin, who 
was elected a Commissioner in 1837. 

The township has suffered very little from crime. There is a remembrance 
of one case of horse stealing, in 1844 or 1845, from Henry Albert. The free- 
dom of the people of late from these marauders is no doubt due to the organ- 
ization of a Protective Association, September, 1866. This was re-organized 
for ten years in 1876, and had, in 1881, sixty-five members, and $135 in the 
treasury, devoted to the capture of criminals. The association is so organized 
that a strong body of men can be collected, at any point, in an exceedingly 
short time. An annual meeting of the members is required each year, in Sep- 
tember. In 1880-81, the officers were Frank Galloway, President ; John 
McDonald, Treasurer ; and William Bycroft, Secretary. 

The saddest tragedy in the annals of the county took place, singularly 
enough, on the quiet, charming beach of Stone Lake, where one would expect 
nothing but the ripple of the waves, the songs of the birds, and the laughter of 
children, which this mad crime so rudely disturbed. Addie Dwight, a charm- 
ing young lady of eighteen years, who was admired and respected by all who 
met her, the youngest daughter of Charles Dwight, was teaching at the Lake 
Schoolhouse and took her pupils down to the lake at noon, on June 22, 1871, 
to give them a promised frolic on the beach. While here, unconscious of any 
danger, Chauncey Barnes, a young man living near this place, in Elkhart 
County, drove up, accompanied by a young woman of White Pigeon, 
and asked for an interview with the school-teacher. They walked away 
together for a short distance. Barnes had, for some time, been paying marked 
attentions to Miss Dwight, but she had declined to receive his company, and 
his attempts at a reconciliation had been in vain. He took his disappointment 
very much to heart, and, suffering from jealousy, he went to see her this day 
for a last attempt, and madly resolved to end her life and his, if he could not 
win her. As the children came toward the two, seated together at some dis- 
tance, a pistol shot was heard, and Addie was seen, with her hands raised, beg- 
ging for her life. But a second bullet was sent crashing through her head, and 
she fell dead at the feet of her lover and murderer. Barnes then emptied the 
revolver into his own head, and when the neighbors came to the scene, though 
bleeding horribly, he was re-loading his revolver, determined to take his own 
life. The murderer was confined in the county jail, and for some time was at 
the point of death, but finally recovered. At his trial, the defense was insanity, 
but though ably defended, he was found guilty of murder, and sentenced to the 
penitentiary for life. He is still confined there. This causeless crime, which 
so cruelly blotted out an innocent young life, aroused great feeling throughout 
the county, and much sympathy was expressed for the victim, and indignation 
toward the murderer. This latter, however, was softened by his attempted 

oJ^^^LCr^ J".^^ 



suicide, and the sorrow of his family. It was one of those events which, 
though having a tinge of romance in history and stories of love and sorrow, 
are too terribly tragic in the real life of one's own generation. 

Since that time, the history of the township has afforded little of interest. 
In 1880, according to the census of that year, there were ten residents of the town- 
ship, each of whom was seventy-five years of age, or over, their names being, with 
their respective ages : Ann Brockway, seventy-eight ; Robert Smith, seventy- 
six ; Maria Hoff, seventy-five ; Elizabeth Smith, seventy-five ; John H. Hoof- 
nagle, eighty-three ; Elizabeth Dayton, seventy-five ; David Seybert, eighty- 
one ; Henry Young, seventy-five ; Lydia Young, seventy-five ; Andrew Hen- 
kle, eighty-five. 

Van Buren is the only village, and Scott is the only post office in the 
township, and these are one and the same. The original plat of the village 
was owned by the Martin brothers — Seldon, Phylammen and Alfred — who 
bought 280 acres in this section of the Government in December, 1833. In 
1837, the village was surveyed by Delevan Martin. The plat was in April, 
1844, enlarged by an addition at the north by Nicholas N Sixby. Before 
the plat was surveyed, the enterprises were established which have since been 
the chief feature of the town — the lumber and flouring mills. The Martins 
built a saw-mill upon the fine water-power which the Pigeon affords at this 
point, in the summer of 1834, and, during the next, erected a flouring-mill. 
The mosquitoes were formidable at that time, and it is said that the Martins 
could not sleep until they constructed a platform up in the trees, where the 
troublesome insects would be less numerous. The old mills have, of course, 
disappeared, and, since then, mills have been put in, capable of turning out, in 
the palmy days of Van Buren, 15,000 barrels of flour per year, and 350,000 
feet of lumber. But at the present time, little more than custom work is done. 

James Haggerty, who was, in 1881, still living in Van Buren, came to the 
place in 1835, having exchanged his land in Michigan for mill property. Mr. 
Haggerty was originally from New Jersey, where he lived in the town of New 
Brunswick, just across the street from old Commodore Vanderbilt, whom the 
old pioneer remembers gratefully as a kind neighbor and generous patron. 
His brother, Michael Haggerty, was here in 1837, but removed, and returned 
in 1855, since when he has been a resident of the village, and for some time 
Justice of the Peace. In 1836, Pierce built a blacksmith shop, and was 
rewarded for his enterprise by being elected, in 1837, the first Justice. Thus 
the village smithy became the hall of justice. Harvey B. Ostrander, about 
the same time, established himself in the cooper business, one Crary built a 
wagon-shop, and C. Z. Barnes, carpenter, came to town. L. D. Brooks built 
a house on Lot 5, in Sixby's Addition, and kept a tavern. A physician, Dr. 
Sidney Cobb, lived in the village about a year, then dying, he was succeeded 
by Dr. William Fox in 1838. His brothers, George and James Fox, were the 
shoemakers of the town. John Rank and father, Joel H, Sanford, Kellogg 


Hunger and Miner were among the residents. Thus it will be seen that Van 
Buren in its early days was a flourishing and promising settlement, and would 
have fulfilled all its early promise had it not been for the perverse running of 
the railway too far to the north. A log house, owned by Pierce, vacated in 
1837, and donated to the township, was the first schoolhouse in the village. 
There is now a two-story frame building, 26x40, devoted to this purpose. 

In 1836, the Martins started a distillery in a large log building near the 
mill, and ran the establishment until after 1840, when the removal of the 
Indians terminated the greater demand for a distillery. Another one was run 
for some time after, at the Hart place, below the mills. A post office was 
established at Van Buren under the name of Scott, in 1836, and was upon the 
line between White Pigeon and Fort Wayne. Clark was the first Postmaster. 
A frame church was built about 1858, and is still in use by all the denomina- 
tions. In 1881, there were two stores in the village, owned by Frank Gal- 
loway and Dr. W. B. Grubb, who has practiced medicine here since 1865. 
Dr. A. Toms is another physician at this place. William Allison, a resident 
of the village since 1867, and of the township since 1860, has held the posi- 
tion of Trustee for ten years in succession, and, in 1881, was commencing 
another series of years. He has proved one of the most efficient officers in 
the county. 



Eden Township— Physical Features— The First Settlers— Incidents of 
Their Life in the Woods— Erection of Mills, Stores, etc.— Valuable 
Statistics— The " Haw Patch "—Township Officials— The Growth of 
Education and Religion— The Sycamore Literary Society. 

THE southeastern quarter of Eden Township is included in that broad area 
of fertile country which the early settlers called the Haw Patch. About 
one Congressional township of land in La Grange and Noble Counties is 
embraced in this tract, which is distinguished thi-oughout by a rich soil, freedom 
from marshes, level, or very gently rolling surface, and a perfect adaptability 
to successful agriculture. At the opening of the country to settlement, it was 
densely covered by beautiful forests, in which sugar maple and black walnut 
were most abundant, and remarkably free from small growths, except hawthorn 
and wild grapes. The abundance of the hawthorn was the most striking 
peculiarity of the region, and gave rise to the name by which it is so widely 
known. Now that the forests and the hawthorns have vanished, the region has 
taken on another style of beauty, and is made doubly attractive by splendidly 
kept farms and elegant residences, where every comfort possible has taken the 
place of the hardships of log-cabin days. 

This is the Eden of the township. But to the north and west lie the great 
marshes which are the sources of the two forks of the Little Elkhart. These 
marshes furnish a great deal of hay, and are the home of an abundance of 
game, but are, nevertheless, a dreary waste, and it is likely irreclaimable for 
some time to come, at least. Persistent efforts are being made to drain them, 
but the continual drying of the country in general will probably prove to be 
the most efficient aid in their improvement. 

To the west of the Big Marsh lie a few sections of good land, but with a 
soil which contains more clay than that of the Haw Patch. 

No lakes or streams of any value are found within the township. 

There is some dispute about the first settlement of the township, but the 
account here given is believed to be the correct one. This is, that the Latta 
family -were the first in Eden. In 1830, Robert Latta, who lived near Urbana, 
Ohio, came to Goshen to bring medicine and stores to his son, Johnston Latta, 
who was then a practicing physician in that settlement. While at Goshen, the 
elder Latta heard from surveyors who had been through La Grange County of 
the fine Haw Patch land, and he visited it on his return, and it seemed to justify 
all the praise he had heard. He had a good farm in Ohio, under cultivation, 


but he longed for new forests to conquer. Accordingly, in the spring of 1832, 
leaving his Ohio home, he came to the Haw Patch, with his wife and daughter, 
Achsah. His log house was built on Section 26. In the fall of the same year, 
William McConnell, of Ohio, settled in Section 35, south of the Latta home, 
with his wife and sons, James, Alexander, Thomas C. and William A., and a 
daughter, Mary Ann, who was married November 17, 1835, to Isaac Spencer. 
The McConnells had a remarkable leaning for public affairs, and since then 
there have been few matters of public interest in and about the Haw Patch in 
which they did not have a prominent part. The other well-known family which 
preceded them was not less public-spirited, and, as was very natural, a rivalry 
soon arose. There were special reasons for this. Latta was a Whig, and 
McConnell a Democrat ; the former was a Methodist, the latter a Presbyterian. 
The contest early showed itself in the purchase of land, and the result was 
that each was the owner of about eighteen eighty-acre tracts, which was con- 
siderably more forest land than was profitable in those days. Much of it was 
afterward given away. Eighty acres were given as pay for one man's work for 
a year, and a job of rail splitting was the consideration for another considerable 
piece of land. In 1841, Dr. Johnston Latta moved to the Haw Patch, giving up 
his practice, and lived upon the old homestead until his death, in 1873, at the 
age of sixty-five. His widow, Martha L., still lives here, adjoining the farm 
of her son, James Norman Latta. The McConnells, in later years, were more 
prominent in Noble than La Grange County history. They have. now no liv- 
ing representative of their name in the township. But the family graveyard 
still receives, from time to time, some descendant of the old pioneer. It is a 
suggestive fact that this family burying-place lies just across the road from the 
site established for similar purposes by Robert Latta, and where he now rests. 
The first burial in the former yard was of Thomas C. McConnell, who died in 
1836, at the age of twenty-six. Here, also, lie William McConnell, who died 
at his home south of Eden Chapel, April 13, 1848, aged sixty -seven ; Agnes, 
his wife, died in 1851, aged sixty-six ; their sons, Alexander and William A., 
and others of a later generation. The eldest son, James, of considerable note 
in Noble County history, died at Albion, June 2, 1881. In 1832, as near as 
can be ascertained, William Dempsey, of Ohio, and his young wife, came to the 
township and lived on land in Section 35. He died about thirteen years later. 
Early in the next year, Nehemiah Coldren, another Ohio man, settled in Sec- 
tion 13, and in 1837 his brother, Harvey, on the same section. Sibyl, the 
wife of Nehemiah, died in 1848, and he in 1871, at the age of seventy-one. 
Harvey Coldren died seven years later. 

There also came in the spring of this year, Laban Parks, with his family, 
including an eight-year-old son, Harlan, who recently died upon the old farm 
on Section 25. Before his settlement, Laban Parks and Anthony Nelson had 
come over from Elkhart Prairie, where Parks had been since 1830, and viewed 
this country over before there were any marks of the presence of white men. 


Laban Parks died in November, 1870. A few months after Parks had settled, 
Anthony Nelson followed, and built his log house a short distance west, upon 
the Clearspring Township line. The first part of his house was built in Eden, 
but an addition was soon made in Clearspring. Kensell Kent, of New York, 
settled in 1833, and was one of the early owners of the land on which Slab- 
town now flourishes. He moved to Iowa, and died there in 1879. Reuben 
McKeever, of Virginia, was living in 1833 on Section 27, but in later years 
emigrated to Iowa. During this year or the next, Samuel Curl, of Ohio, a 
son-in-law of Robert Latta, moved to the Haw Patch, and settled on Section 
35, and his brother, John Curl, at the same time on Section 26. Samuel Curl 
died in 1863, and John Curl and family removed from the township. About 
1834, Obed Gaines, of New York, built his cabin, in which early elections took 
place, a quarter of a mile north of Sycamore Corners, on the township line, 
but was not long a resident. He was the only settler who raised hops for sale. 
In October, 1834, Mrs. Elizabeth Ramsby, a widow lady, with her family, 
moved upon land in Section 27, where her son, John S. Ramsby, now resides. 
Mrs. Ramsby died upon the old homestead November 12, 1869, aged eighty 
years. John S. Ramsby settled here in 1835, and besides being a wealthy 
farmer, has become noted as an admirer of the chase. Deer and bears in the 
early days, and foxes and coons of later years, furnished the sport. The marsh 
has been an unfailing source of game. Bears, of course, have long since gone. 
Thirty years ago, Mr. Ramsby captured three, but since then only a straggler 
has now and then appeared. Deer were very numerous at the first settlement, 
so much so as to be troublesome. The pretty animals had a great fancy for 
pawing up the young wheat with their dainty hoofs, and meddling with the 
husked corn before it was put away. But they soon vanished before the hunt- 
er. Trapping in the marshes, especially of the little animal of bad repute and 
valuable hide, coon hunting, and following the hounds after "Reynard," have 
been sources of much recreation and no little profit since the first settlement 
of Eden. But to return to the settlers. 

On the 1st of October, 1835, John Thompson, from Ohio, reached 
the land upon which he has since lived. He bought his farm from Mark 
Cahoon, who had been upon the land long enough to make a little clear- 
ing, and who, after marrying Ann Modie, a member of another early fam- 
ily, in November, 1835, moved further west after Mr. Thompson's arrival. 
The price paid for this land was $4.37 per acre, a little below the 
average price of land partially improved. Wild land was held at double 
the Government price. Mr. Thompson, soon after his arrival, was called 
upon to administer justice as Squire, and, besides township ofiices, repre- 
sented Noble and La Grange Counties in the Lower House in 1841. In 
those days, the people's law-makers had to make the journey to Indianapolis on 
horseback, and undergo great tribulation on the road for the sake of legislati ve 
honors, at a salary of $3.00 per day. Mr. Thompson was afterward (1856-60) 


a member of the State Senate for two terms, and has always been prominent in 
political aflFairs. James Taylor, another old settler, came with Mr. Thompson, 
and entered land in Section 23, where he died in 1880. His widow still lives 
upon the farm. William Parks, a brother of Laban, settled on Section 27 in 
1835, and joined in the emigration to Iowa about fifteen years ago. Orvin 
Kent was at the Haw Patch in the spring of 1833, and bought land. He was 
here again in 1835, but did not settle permanently until 1847, after his marriage 
in Ohio, He then built a home upon his land in Eden, at Sycamore Corners. 
Mr. Kent has for a number of years lived in Clearspring, but his two places of 
residence are upon the town line road. Mr. Kent has always been interested in 
the welfare of the Haw Patch, and has done much in aid of its social and mate- 
rial improvement. 

The whole number of householders in Eden, in the fall of 1835, was fif- 
teen, and the men, women and children all told numbered seventy-tn^o. 

In 1836, William Collett settled on the Haw Patch. His son, William C. 
Collett, was in later years prominently identified with the Granger movement 
in Indiana. The other son, Jacob Collett, married Anna Mary Swart, who haa 
the distinction of being the first born in the township. They removed to Iowa. 
In 1837, John Denny, his wife Mary, and sons, settled on Section 35, where 
Mrs. Denny yet resides, at the advanced age of eighty-four. 

About this time, the settlement of the region west of the marsh began. 
Robert McKibben settled here in 1836, but moved West in 1850; John and 
Andrew Funk in 1837 ; in 1838, David Carr, who moved to Ligonier and died 
there, and Thomas Short, who still resides on Section 6. John Prough settled 
on Section 18 in 1842. In the same year, William H. Poyser and John Poy- 
ser settled in this neighborhood, but the former removed to the Haw Patch eight 
years later and now lives on Section 27. After 1835, the settlement of the 
township increased rapidly, and this department of the history will not permit 
any extended notice of the later comers. It is mainly in the first settlers that 
all feel an interest. Their comings and goings and haps and mishaps are 
worthy of note, while similar occurrences of to-day concern few besides those 
who are immediately interested. 

Eden Township was organized in November, 1832. Its formation was the 
second division made in the county, being a subdivision of Lima Township. 
But this township, as the order of the Commissioners read, was to include "all 
that tract of territory south of Township 37 and west of the range line divid- 
ing Ranges 9 and 10 ;" that is, it included the present townships of Edoi and 
Clearspring and ran south of Ligonier. La Grange County then included 
part of Noble. The election was ordered to be held at the house of John Hos- 
tettler, who lived near the county line, in Perry Township, on the first Monday 
of April., 1833, for the purpose of electing two Justices of the Peace. 

Who these first officers were cannot be said from the records. Township 
records of that time have vanished and the county records are silent. William 


McConnell, however, is claimed to be the first Justice of the Peace. The 
earliest record to be found of his official acts is of the marriage of Minerva 
Gaines to Norman Sessions, February 8, 1835. John Thompson was elected 
and served as Justice a short time after he settled here. 

On the 7th of May, 1833, the Commissioners made a further division of 
the territory, setting off that portion of Eden south of the Elkhart River as 
Perry Township. At a later date, all the Noble County territory was sepa- 
rated. At the March term, 1837, Clearspring Township was set off from 
Eden, and that date may be taken as the official beginning of the township as 
it is now defined. 

In 1845, the Town Clerk, Mr. John Thompson, made an entry nunc pro 
tunc, and noted, as his apology, that it got out of place in copying, for no books 
had been provided by the Trustees, as required by the State, "until the present 
time, March 1, 1845." Before this the proceedings of the Trustees had been 
jotted down loosely, and all the notes made before 1842 were lost. On June 6, 
1842, the records show the township was divided into four road districts, with 
Anthony Nelson, William Swartz, Silas Longcor and Andrew W. Martin as 
Supervisors. The elections were ordered to be held at John Thompson's. The 
Trustees elected in 1842 were Robert McKibben, James Taylor and Mahlon 
Hutchinson. John Thompson was elected Clerk and held the place after this 
for four years. The Trustees were then paid $2.50 for their year's services and 
the Clerk $2. In 1844, there were five road districts, and a tax of 10 cents 
on the $100 was levied for township expenses. The Trustees of this year were 
John Poyser, William Collett and Laban Parks; and then followed, in 1845,. 
Thomas Fisher, W. H. Poyser, John Denny; 1846, John Poyser, John Denny,. 
William Collett. Thomas Short was elected Clerk that spring, and served ten 
years. From 1847 to 1850, it seems that William Collett, Peter Prough and 
Jacob D. Poyser held the trusteeship undisturbed. In 1850, Peter Prough was 
replaced by William Swartz. John Poyser, William Swartz and John McDevitt 
were elected in 1852. At the November election of this year, the polls were 
located, by ballot, at the Denny Schoolhouse. For 1853-54, the Trustees were 
John D. Stansbury, John Thompson and James Taylor. At this time, the 
school fund received from the Auditor amounted to $356.70. In 1854, J. D. 
Stansbury, William H. Poyser and David Sutton were Trustees; 1855, J. D. 
Stansbury, Harlan Parks, Hiram I. Parks; 1856, Harlan and H. I. Parks and 
E. B. Gerber; 1857, -H. I. Parks, John Poyser, James Tumbleson; 1858, H. 
I. Parks, William Walker, Nehemiah Coldren. Orvin Kent was Clerk this 
year. This was the last triumvirate in the trusteeship. Since then one man 
at a time has been found able to take care of the township business. D. B. 
Carr held the office in 1859 and the succession has been: James Mearl, S. S. 
Keim, 1865; John L. Short, 1866; John W. Lutz, 1869; Milton Rowe, 1874, 
William Roderick, 1878 ; W. L. Sipe, 1880. The Justices of the Peace since 
1840, when the records begin, have been: Leonard Wolf, 1840-45; Anthony 


Nelson, 1841; John Poyser, 1845-50, 1850-52, 1855-63, 1872-76. (John 
Poyser is emphatically the Squire of Eden.) William T. McConnell, 1845-47 ; 
James Tumbleson, 1847-50, 1852-56, 1870-74; Peter Prough, 1866-705 
Jacob Crusen, 1873-77; John J. Arnold, 1876-80; Isaiah Immell, 1878-82; 
Samuel Stutzman, 1881. 

In the year 1880, at the time of taking the census, and according to the 
returns, there were then residents of the township the following persons who 
had reached the age of seventy-five or over : J. J. Bontrager, seventy-five ; 
Mary Denny, eighty-three; Leah Morrill, seventy-five; John Thompson, 

The almost impassable swamps running through the township from north 
to south have prevented the building of many important roads. The Indians 
even left the swamps severely alone, and made wide detours to avoid them. 
Their trails, which were the first highways, ran from northeast to southwest 
through the Haw Patch, from Clearspring to Ligonier. These trails, of 
course, were only passable in places for walking or riding, and they were so 
snugly lined by sunflowers and stinging nettles, as high as a man's head, that 
travel was not at all pleasant. But the country about Haw Patch was so free 
from underbrush that roads were easily made. The first one was the Goshen 
road, which wound without regard to anything but convenience and the shortest 
cut from Benton and Millersburg, south of Big Marsh to Salem, and up by the 
Latta farm, passing north of the present Sycamore Corners, and on to Clear- 
spring and La Grange. One of the earliest regularly established highways was 
the State road, laid out several years before 1840, from Perry Prairie to White 

In the spring of 1832, Benjamin Gale, William McConnell and Robert 
Latta viewed a road to run from the southwest corner of the county to Lima. 
This was afterward known as the Haw Patch road. These and later roads 
did not adhere to section lines at first, but have been since changed for that 

Life in Eden before 1840 was from all accounts less enjoyable than exist- 
ence in the earlier Eden about the year one. The weeds seemed to defy the 
farmers ; they choked the grain and covered everything. It is said that horses 
and cattle were often lost in them. As if the weeds were not enough, the birds 
"Were innumerable, and they flocked to the little wheat patches, making music 
all day long and helping themselves for reward. Between the weeds and the 
birds, " what shall the harvest be," was a serious question. But in a few years 
the condition was changed, the wheat acreage began to yield twenty bushels, 
and the corn as much as fifty bushels, and the crops on the Haw Patch since 
then have been wonderful. There was no mill in the township and the grist 
had to be taken to Dallas' Mill in Clearspring, to Steinberger's in Noble, or 
to Jonathan Wayland's and other mills near Benton, in Elkhart County. The 
journey with fifteen or twenty bushels of wheat to Benton from the Haw Patch 


would occupy one day, and the next day would be taken up in the return. The 
earliest trading was done in Goshen and Lima, except such as was done at 
home with the Indians, who were always anxious to exchange something for 
"shuma " — silver coin. 

The first birth in the county is believed to be Anna Mary Swartz, who was 
born about 1837. She was married to Jacob Collett and now lives in Iowa. 
A child was born to William Dempsey very early, which may contest the claim ; 
and Sophronia, daughter of Nehemiah Coldren, afterward the wife of William 
Walker, of Lima, was at least one of the very earliest natives of Eden. 

In September, 1836, the County Commissioners selected the house of 
Obed Gaines as a voting place, and tho first Presidential election in the town- 
ship was held there in November, 1836. Norman Sessions was Inspector. There 
were fifteen to twenty votes cast, and of these the Democrats had a large ma- 
jority. The township has usually had a Democratic majority of one or more 
ever since then, though during the life of the Whig party it sometimes carried 
an election. 

The resident physicians who have practiced in the township have been 
Dr. John Brown, who lived near " Slabtown," and died in 1851. Dr. Waller, 
of about the same period ; Dr. Abner Lewis, who lived some time at Sycamore 
Corners and then moved to La Grange, and finally West, and for the last twenty 
years. Dr. John M. Denny, who has his office at the old Denny homestead on 
Section 35. The township, especially about the Haw Patch, has been healthy 
since the fever and ague days of the first settlement. There have been seasons 
which were exceptions, however, notably the epidemic of erysipelas in 1850. 

A widely-spread gang of horse-thieves and general outlaws, in an early 
day, made the Haw Patch an unsafe and disagreeable place. To these maraud- 
ers the Haw Patch was indebted for a reputation as a lawless locality, which it 
required many years to overcome. Horses would be taken and sent out of the 
county by regular lines, along which the thieves and their harborers were per- 
manently stationed. Finally, the reign of crime became unendurable. The 
citizens organized themselves in police associations and resolved to take the 
law into their own hands. The Regulators for Haw Patch and vicinity organ- 
ized March 1, 1858, at the residence of Francis Ditman, in Clearspring, with 
the title of the Clearspring and Eden Detective Police. The President was 
Abner Lewis, and the Vice Presidents, Charles Roy, Francis Ditman, William 
Gibson and William Denny. John McDevitt was chosen Secretary and Haw- 
ley Peck, Treasurer. Then there occurred the great parade at Kendallville by 
the Regulator companies, when an immense crowd gathered, and one of the 
criminals was seized and soon after hung near Diamond Lake, in Noble County, 
and his body taken back- to his wife. The criminal class was awed by the 
determined spirit of the Regulators ; arrests were speedily made, and in a very 
short time the country was quiet. Since then, the feeling of peaceful security 
has been disturbed only during the era of tramps. 


The Latta family were Methodists and the McConnells Presbyterians, and 
this determined the denominational lines of the early efforts toward church 
organization. The first society to be organized was the Methodist, which had 
its meeting place at the residence of Robert Latta, Sr. James Latta, who had 
been for some years an itinerant preacher, and had settled in Perry Township, 
was the one who most frequently conducted the meetings. Among the mem- 
bers of this pioneer church were, besides the Lattas, Samuel and John Curl ; 
Laban Parks, wife and daughter ; Elizabeth Ramsby ; John Thompson and wife, 
and James Taylor. Rev. S. R. Ball was Pastor in 1835, and Revs. Robert- 
son, Boyd, Harrison, Posey and Allen, Dowd, Storex and Forbes, followed in 
very nearly the order given. In 1842, the society, aided by general contribu- 
tions, built a frame meeting-house on Latta's land, called Eden Chapel. A 
graveyard was opened west of the old chapel about this time, on an acre 
donated by Robert Latta. The first buried here was a child of Judge Stage. 
The grant of land was afterward enlarged to two and one-fourth acres. The 
old church was, after many years' service, torn down and a neat frame chapel, 
capable of seating about 300 persons, was erected on the west side of the 
churchyard, and dedicated in 1866. The building cost about $1,500 and was 
built by James Tumbleson. The churchyard is surrounded by a handsome 
wire fence, and the house and its surroundings kept in a manner which is in 
itself an index to the wealth and refinement of the neighborhood. A camp- 
meeting was also held for many years at a grove on Mr. Latta's land, and largely 
at his expense. He was generous in support of religious enterprises. The 
church is at present included in the Wawaka Circuit and Rev. James Johnson 
is the preacher in charge. There are some fifty members enrolled. 

The Presbyterian Church was organized at the house of William McCon- 
nell, of which his family and Denny's, and the Cavens, of Perry Township, 
were the earliest members. Rev. James B. Plumstead was the first minister, 
some time before 1835. Rev. Christopher Cory also preached at this place in 
1837 and 1838. The society was not long-lived, and the members were grad- 
ually drawn into the congregations of Salem Church and Ligonier, 

The Baptist Church had a society, formerly meeting first at Sycamore 
Schoolhouse and then at Horner's. But since the death of Harvey Coldren. 
its most prominent member, the society has had very few meetings. 

A Methodist Episcopal society was organized west of the Marsh in the 
winter of 1842-43, and met at John Poyser's house. The early members were 
John Poyser, Thomas Elliott, Andrew Elliott, John McKibben and Isaac 
Sparks and their families, and Susan and William H. Poyser. The member- 
ship was from Elkhart and La Grange Counties. The congregation also met 
at the Eden Valley Schoolhouse, until their chapel was built in 1856. This 
building was erected by James Hart, and was, in dimensions, about 32x45. 
Rev. Lamb, of Goshen, was one of the earliest preachers, and it was included 
in the Goshen Circuit. During the war, when feeling was very intense and 


persons were divided in opinion about where preachers should draw the dividing 
line between politics and patriotism, a split was made in the church, and a con- 
siderable number, including some of the Virginian settlers, organized a 
Lutheran Church. This new society built a brick church just over the line in 
Clinton Township in 1877. The old meeting-house is still in use by the 

The Amish Mennonite Church was organized in 1854 by German-speak- 
ing residents in the township. Before 1842, the settlement by members of this 
denomination had been begun by David Kurz, John Hartzler, Isaac Hartzler 
and (jrideon Yoder. Later comers were Isaac Smoker, in 1843, and David 
Hartzler, in 1845. About 1860, a frame church was erected south of the vil- 
lage, on the county line road, and here Bishop Isaac Smoker and Revs. Joseph 
Yoder and Joseph Kaufman were the earliest preachers. In 1870, this build- 
ing was torn down and moved to Sycamore Corners, and a handsome brick 
church was erected, with a seating capacity of 300, at a cost of $2,000. The 
church was dedicated by Rev. John F. Funk, of Elkhart. The district now 
includes all of the Haw Patch, and contains something over one hundred and 
thirty members. The present preachers in charge are Bishop Smoker, who 
has now served in this church forty-two years, and Revs. Jonas Hartzler and 
George Buller.* The Amish people are in greater numbers in the northern 
sections of Eden, owning, in fact, all the upper half of Eden, east of the West 
Fork of the Little Elkhart. In this part, the first Amish settlers were John 
Bontrager, Christian Miller, Sr., and Joseph Yoder, about 1844. Most of this 
territory is included in the Newbury District. The other leading German 
denomination, the German Baptists or Dunkers, is represented by a flourishing 
society, organized in 1866, with a present membership of about one hundred 
and fifty. The society erected a commodious frame meeting-house at Haw 
Patch Village, in 1870. Rev. David Bare is the minister at this time. 

The first school taught in the township was in the winter of 1834, when 
Kensell Kent organized a school in a log cabin a half mile west of Denny's 
Corners, at which the few children in the neighborhood found instruction. The 
big boys in those days were as unruly as in modern times, and a disturbance 
at one time arose in this school which compelled the attendance of a number of 
them at the court in Lima for several days. The first schoolhouse was a log 
building at Denny's Corners, where school was taught by Robinson Ramsby 
in 1836. Old Mr. Lucky, about 1837, also taught in this schoolhouse. It 
was a primitive aff'air ; one end of the building was the fire-place ; there was noth- 
ing in the way of chimney but a hole in the roof, and the rest of the building, it 
seems, was the hearth. Pins were put in the logs of the wall, and slabs laid 
on these were the desks. The seats were made from slabs, and were, of course, 
without backs. Achsah Kent, now Mrs. Nathan Frink, was one of the earliest 
teachers here. After the log house, there was a frame built upon the same 
spot, which has been gone some twenty years, and the location of the house to 


take its place was on the east line of Section 26. A house was early built on 
the east line of Section 26, where school was kept for fifteen years. The site 
was then changed, and a brick house was built at the corners south in 1877, 
called the Haw Patch Schoolhouse. The Horner Schoolhouse, on Section 13, 
was built several years before the war, a rough frame, and was rebuilt about 

About 1840, the first schoolhouse was built over the marsh. It was a log 
house in Elkhart County, near the chapel. Here Thomas Short was one of the 
earliest teachers. In 1845, the Eden Valley Schoolhouse was built within the 
township on John Aker's land. A new house has since been erected. In the 
old house, Margaret Bean was one of the first teachers. Noble County has 
built two schoolhouses within the limits of Eden, attended mostly by children 
of this township. The Sycamore School District, with the house in Clearspring, 
but including a portion of Eden, was organized in 1842, when Mahlon Hutch- 
inson was one of the trustees. The district receives its name from a tall syca- 
more of the Haw Patch, which used to stand at the corner until it was mis- 
chievously girdled. 

From the latest school statistics it appears that the township has 288 
children of school age, 190 of whom are in attendance each day upon the 
schools. The length of school is 142 days on an average. Nine teachers are 
employed at $1.55 and $1.39 per day. The revenue for the past year was 
$4,823.67, and the value of the school property is put at $5,890. 

An important movement in the direction of popular culture is the Syca- 
more Literary Society, This was started about seventeen years ago as a debat- 
ing society at the schoolhouse. But in 1878, a wider field of usefulness was 
chosen, and a more permanent organization effected and a charter obtained. 
Ira Ford and J. N. Babcock conceived the idea of the society's obtaining a 
hall for its exclusive use, and the other members went into the project enthusi- 
astically. The old Dunkard Church, then for sale, was bought, torn down, 
moved and rebuilt, in 1879, upon land at the " corners," donated by Orvin 
Kent. The building as refitted is 30x52 feet, and aff"ords a good auditory for 
350 persons, and contains a stage and scenery. To do this work, the society 
borrowed $500 and was aided by donations. The debt is being paid from the 
proceeds of entertainments. The society at present has over forty members. 
J. N. Babcock is President and E. E. Stutsman, Secretary. 

There are but few industries in the township besides farming and stock- 
raising. But two permanent saw-mills and one grist-mill are in operation. 
The first saw-mill and grist-mill were built near the center of the township in 
1854, by Benedict Miller. The flouring-mill had two run of stones and did a 
fair custom work, but both mills were long ago burned down. 

In 1877, John and Amos Schrock built a grist-mill with two run of stones, 
and a large saw-mill on Section 9, at which a great deal of custom work has 
been done. The mills were sold in 1881 to Tobias Eash. The only business 


place in the township is Haw Patch Center or Haw Patch or " Slabtown," as 
it has been variously called. The most popular name for some time has 
been Slabtown, which the saw-mill has the credit of giving the origin to. 
This point was early selected as a site for trading. William McConnell, 
the first Postmaster, kept a small stock of goods near by at an early day. 
Timothy Hudson, Jr., kept a store on the Clearspring side of the street 
quite early, and also ran an ashery. The saw-mill, which is the most important 
part of Slabtown, was built by William and Timothy Hudson in 1856, and 
moved and rebuilt in 1874, by John Keim, who still runs it. About 1871, 
Jacob Crusen built a store in Slabtown, which was destroyed by fire two 
years later. John Keim then rebuilt upon the lot in 1877, and in this build- 
ing a general store was kept by Samuel Holland for a short time, and, since he 
retired, by Mr. Keim. 

In 1878, a building was erected by Thomas Trittapoo, in which another 
store has since been kept. John Peck, in 1877, made a substantial addition 
to the place by starting a well-equipped wagon and blacksmith shop. A large 
harness shop and fine brick residence were erected, in 1881, by J. Zook, on the 
Clearspring side, at the place of the old Hudson store. These business places 
and the Dunkard Church are the only public buildings in the village. " Slab- 
town " has never had the distinction of being platted, but that is among the 
bright prospects of the future. The neighborhood expected speedy prosperity 
and a great impetus to the growth of the country when the Canada Southern 
Railroad extension was surveyed through herein 1872. There was talk of 
railroad shops being located here. Thomas H. Gale, of Michigan, purchased 
over a section of improved land at high figures, as a speculation, and the road 
seemed certain to come, but the panic of 1873 came instead, and there is now 
little hope of a railroad through the Haw Patch. 

During the dry season of 1871, at the time of the Chicago fire, there was 
considerable danger to buildings near the marsh, and great loss in the way of 
fences and timber. About nine-tenths of the timber in the township was in- 
jured by the fires which swept over the swamp. Alftiost the entire marshes 
were burned over, and nothing but deep ditches, aided by persistent fighting of 
the fire, could check its course. That season of fire by night and clouds of 
smoke by day will long be remembered. But those few years, when the marshes 
needed some water, were exceptions. The great problem has been, generally, 
how to get rid of the surplus of water collected in these vast bogs. The first 
effort at drainage was the State ditch in the Big Marsh. Johnston Latta, at 
about the same time, a little before 1850, commenced the first private ditching, 
in the face of considerable discouragement from the neighbors, in the eastern 
branch of the swamp. The viewers and surveyors on these early ditches had 
a hard time of it in the trackless and bottomless bogs, and among the poison 
sumach. Since then, considerable attention has been paid to the drainage of 
the marshes, under the various laws of the State ; and it has perhaps resulted 


in as much litigation as drainage. In fact, however, a great deal of land has 
been reclaimed. A larger ditch than has ever yet been dug is being surveyed 
on the line of the old State ditch, and is to be made by assessments. 

The Eden of to-day is happy and prosperous. Part of the land is yet 
uninviting, but it is nowhere so bad as in the " JSTew Eden " Dickens settled 
Mark Tapley upon ; a great portion of it is a beautiful garden, if not a para- 
dise ; at least, as near one as any spot in Hoosierdom. As for the people, they 
are intelligent, enterprising and cultured, and with a decided penchant for 
large farms and comfortable or even elegant homes, where a generous hospitality 
is always found. 



Spkingfield Township— Mongoquinoxg Fifty Years Ago— The French Trad- 
ers—More OF THE Gage and Langdon War— Saw-Mills, Woolen- Mills, 
distilljeries, etc.— incidents of the "hard cider campaign "—wild 
Game— Township Organization— Village of Springfield— Schools and 
Churches— Spiritualism— Union Hall. 

THE first white settler in what is now Springfield Township was probably 
John B. Clark, who, according to his sister, Mrs. Judge Prentiss, 
located on the west bank of Turkey Creek, near the center of the township, 
some time during the autumn of 1830. He was, of course, a squatter, as were 
also all others before the fall of 1832, and, so far as known, was the only one 
before the spring of 1831. At that time, a man named L. K. Brownell, an 
enterprising settler, located a claim at what is now Mongoquinong. He had 
considerable money at command, which was immediately invested in the con- 
struction of a dam across Pigeon River. At the same time, he began the erec- 
tion of a two-storied grist-mill, completing both it and the dam during the 
summer of 1831 ; so that, in August of the same year, a fair article of flour 
was furnished by the mill. Two sets of buhrs were employed, one for wheat 
and the other for corn. Mr. Brownell was not a practical miller, but employed 
a man, whose name is not remembered, to manage the running of the mill. The 
vicinity of the mill, in years before, had been the site of a temporary encamp- 
ment of Pottawatomies, and, for a number of years afterward they continued 
to assemble there at certain seasons. As every one knows, they were extremely 
fond of whisky, and would resort to any means to get it. An Indian (unless 
pretty well civilized) does not sell his furs ; he barters them for something he 
wants. He goes in for bulk, much as the Irishman did with the boots. The 
result was that they were easily cheated by unscrupulous traders, who obtained 
their peltries for a comparative pittance. French traders from Fort Wayne 
established themselves at Mongo, two of them being (as well as the writer can 


spell their names), Druryeaur and Cuttieaur. The latter was in business in 
Fort Wayne, in the partnership of Comparet & Cuttieaur, while the former, so 
far as known, was not connected with them, unless in the purchase of fancy 
articles for the Indian trade, and in the disposal of the furs thus obtained. 
Druryeaur was at Mongo as soon as Brownell, and there he remained until late 
in the autumn of 1832, when so much hostility was shown him by every one, on 
account of his responsibility for the " Gage and Langdon war," that he found 
it unprofitable to remain longer, whereupon he removed his trading station, 
some say, to an Indian village in Michigan. Brownell, at the time he built 
his grist-mill, saw at once the profit to be realized from the sale of whisky to 
the Indians and the settlers ; and he, therefore, erected a large distillery build- 
ing near his mill, and employed a practical distiller to conduct the manufact- 
ure. His expectations were more than realized, as the most of his whisky 
(from thirty to forty gallons per day) was purchased and consumed almost as 
fast as it was made. The distillery and the mill together furnished a market 
for grain that the settlers appreciated. They could take their corn to the mill, 
get it ground, and then take it to the distillery, where it was either exchanged 
for so much whisky, or was brewed on shares. Druryeaur had a small trading- 
house across the river from the mill, where his furs were kept, and where he 
dealt out whisky to his red friends. As soon as the mill and the distillery 
were up and running, many persons searching homes were attracted to the 
spot. The place was certainly promising at that time, for there was the 
large encampment of Indians across the river from the mill ; there was the 
grist-mill furnishing flour and meal for a large section of country ; there was 
the abundance of large and excellent fish in the broad mill-pond ; there were 
the wild game and the furs of all kinds brought in by the Indians and the 
white trappers and hunters, and there was the market for grain. The mill and 
the distillery were no sooner up than a man named John O'Ferrell, a native of 
the " Emerald Isle," came to the place and erected a small storeroom, in 
which was placed a stock of goods worth about $400. The stock consisted 
mainly of those miscellaneous articles most needed in the backwoods. Some say 
that Brownell owned part of the stock, and it is very likely he did, as he would 
scarcely let the golden opportunity of deriving so excellent a profit pass easily 
into other hands. The facts, however, as to the ownership of the store are not 
clear. O'Ferrell was certainly the first store-keeper, and, while he was there, 
kept the post office for a short time. Arthur Burrows opened a hotel in 1833, 
paying $7.50 per annum license. At the same time, O'Ferrell was licensed to 
sell merchandise, paying therefor $10 per annum, and at the same rate for the 
time he had been selling before without a license. There was a blacksmith at 
the village, but his name is not remembered. This was the Mongo of 1833. 

The originators or perpetrators of the Indian scare, known as the " Gage 
and Langdon war," were the Frenchman Druryeaur, the Irishman O'Ferrell, 
the Yankee Brownell, the German miller, and a few native Americans. Such 


a unity of nationality could not fail to produce a sensation. All persons at the 
time were talking about the Black Hawk war, and speculating as to the probabil- 
ity of trouble with the Pottawatomies. Those easily frightened saw dreadful 
times ahead, and were ready for the scare. The details are told in the chapter 
on Greenfield. Langdon fled to Brushy Prairie, and told the few settlers there 
of the massacre at the mill. Men for miles around armed themselves and re- 
paired in haste to the spot, to assist in quelling the outbreak. Over one hun- 
dred assembled, though, for some reason unknown, no organization was effected. 
About seventy-five Indians were encamped near by. They thought the whites 
were going to attack them, and hung out the white flag. In truth, the settlers 
could hardly be restrained from firing upon them. It was not long before the 
truth became known, and then the perpetrators of the hoax were treated to an 
exhibition of wrath and indignation. So hostile were the settlers to the jokers 
that trade at the mill, the distillery and the store languished. Under this 
pressure, the Frenchman left the place ; and very likely the early disappear- 
ance of O'Ferrell, and the sale of the property of Brownell were hastened, if 
not caused, by their perpetration of the joke. Do not say the story is magni- 
fied. When 100 men assemble, armed and prepared for fight ; when attempts 
are made to build forts and garrison islands in lakes, that section of country is 
in earnest and means business. Such are the facts, at least. 

Among the earliest settlers in the township were William S. Prentiss, Ben- 
jamin Jones, Jesse Huntsman, Joseph Foos,' Benjamin Foos, William Seaburn, 
Erastus Haskins, George Thompson, Elijah Fothergill, Drusus Nichols, Otis 
Shepardson, George Ray (Peckham), William BuUmer, Samuel Bradford, Nor- 
man Dyer, Jacob and Isaac Gage, David Michael, Barnabas Thompson and 
others. At the same time, and prior to 1839, there came Leonard Appleman, 
Russell Brown, Almon Brine, Isaac Carpenter, Moses Chapin, Conrad Deal, 
W. B. Dunn, George Donaldson, Edwin Davis, Robert Dayton, AVilliam East- 
lick, the Emersons, Rufus Freeman, Robert and G. W. Greenfield, Elias Gil- 
bert, Job Gifibrd, Jacob Greene, J. T. Hobbs, John and William Hall, Luke 
Hammond, Charles Hull, Sylvan us Hatch, Orsemus Jackway, Jehu Lackey, 
W. S. Newnam, D. I. and N. B. Newnam, T. H. Nichols, Harvey and Elisha 
Olmstead, Richard Rice, David Sockrider, Edward Smith, George Smith, Hi- 
ram Smith, E. G. Shepardson, James Shears, Elisha Talmage, B. B. Water- 
house, the Wades, Sheldon Williams, Job and James Wilcox, A. T. Wallace, 
Samuel H. Wright, Samuel Westcott, Ephraim Seeley, Jacob Vandeventer and 
others. The greatest rush into the township was during the years 1836 and 
1837. The terrible sickly season of 1838 swept away many of the settlers, 
and, on account of the drought, the crops of that year were poor. This state of 
things, following in the wake of thefinancial crash of 1837, carried hard times 
to the verge of desperation. Counterfeiters, thieves and others of their ilk 
overran the country, and soon honest settlers could not depend upon the integ- 
rity of their neighbors. 





In 1832, George Bullmer erected a saw-mill on Pigeon River, in the 
eastern part of the township. A dam was built across the river after a great 
deal of trouble, and a short race or chute carried water to the flutter- wheel, which 
communicated motion to the saw. The mill was a good one, turning out a 
considerable quantity of lumber. In 1833, Samuel Bradford erected a saw- 
mill on Turkey Creek, about a mile from its mouth. The race was about half 
a mile long, and the owner himself expressed doubt, while it was being dug, 
whether it would carry the necessary water to the mill. George Thompson 
worked on the race, and, according to his account, the mill did not begin to 
run until the spring of 1834. The mill, greatly altered in appearance and 
capacity, is yet in operation. In 1838, William S. Prentiss erected one on the 
same creek, on Section 34 ; this is yet in operation. A saw-mill was early 
built at Mongo ; it is yet running. These were the only early mills. In the 
fall of 1834 or spring of 1835, Samuel Bradford erected an addition to his 
saw-mill, and placed therein the necessary machinery for carding wool. In 
November, 1836, he sold both mills and the eighty acres of land upon which 
they stand to Joshua T. Hobbs ; Mr. Crane was employed to conduct the card- 
ing-mill ; wool was taken there by the settlers to be carded, after which it was 
taken home, spun, woven into cloth, and returned to the mill to be dressed and 
colored. No cloth was probably manufactured, several old settlers to the con- 
trary. After many years, the property passed into the control of John and 
James Tinkler, who, for a short time, infused new life into the enterprise, and 
probably talked of purchasing weaving machinery and employing a weaver ; 
they did not, however, but within about two years left the place with many 
debts behind, going to some point in Michigan. While the mill was under the 
ownership of Hobbs, large quantities of wool were carded, the value of the 
enterprise being fully appreciated by the settlers over a large scope of country. 
The carding-mill died with the disappearance of the Tinkler boys. 

In about the year 1836, or earlier, the mill property at Mongoquinong 
was purchased by Drusus Nichols, as were also the O'Ferrell store and the dis- 
tillery. A man named Skeels was employed to conduct the mill. In 1837, 
George Smith became the distiller. Nichols himself managed affairs at the 
store. He increased the stock until it was worth about $6,000, and at times had 
a very large trade. As high as fifty gallons of whisky were manufactured in 
one day. The distillery ran very successfully until about 1842, when it was 
destroyed by fire, and was not rebuilt. The old grist-mill was used under a 
change of owners until 1869, when the present structure was erected by C. L. 
Hawk, who is yet the owner. Nichols died about 1848, and the property 
passed to Robert Dykes, and afterward to others. Staley and Payne were 
coopers, who were in the village very early ; they manufactured whisky kegs 
and barrels, and found a sale for all they could make, if not there, at other 
distilleries, of which there were several in surrounding townships. In 1835, 
there were some seven or eight families living in the village. William Hall 


was an early hotel keeper, as were also Albert Powell and a man named Davis. 
John Brisco and the Sheldons were other tavern keepers. The Sheldon 
brothers were physicians, and were among the earliest of that profession in the 
township. Erastus Haskins was an early blacksmith ; John D. Filkins was 
another. While Judge Seeley was at Lima, a post office called Mongoquinong* 
was established there, and he received the appointment as Postmaster. About this 
time he removed to Greenfield Township, taking the office, which retained the 
same name, with him. Finally, in about 1833 or 1834, he moved to Spring- 
field Township, and the office was removed to Union Mills, as it was then 
called, and O'Ferrell, or as some say Nichols, received the appointment as 
Postmaster ; the office still retaining its first name. Drusus Nichols was Post- 
master for many years. Mason Brown was an early mail carrier on the Fort 
Wayne & Lima road ; Bourie of Fort Wayne was another ; William Legg, 
another. During the years 1844, 1845 and 1846, Drusus Nichols shipped over 
1,000 barrels of flour annually to Fort Wayne and other points, as to Adrian, 
Mich. At the same time, large quantities were consumed at home. Nichols 
built the first saw-mill at the village about the time he bought out Brownell and 
O'Ferrell. Robert Dykes, the successor of Nichols, carried on a very exten- 
sive business. Edmund G. Shepardson has been in business in the village for 
the past seventeen years. Mr. Hawk has been in business there for a long 

During the Presidential campaign of 1840, several prominent candidates 
for Congress were announced to speak in Mongoquinong. Eight hundred men 
gathered to hear them. Bands of martial music came in four-horse wagons, 
with drums beating and colors flying. Great enthusiasm was manifested for 
" Tippecanoe and Tyler too." A gayly decorated wagon from Angola appeared, 
the wagon-box being a large canoe, in which a fine martial band was seated. 
It was a great Whig day, though many Democrats were present to see the 
show and hear the speakers. Games were projected, and the sturdy politicians 
enjoyed themselves. It is said that Satauel Burnside, at hop, step and jump, 
on this day, cleared forty -six feet. Losey Young and John Davidson did about 
as well. Otis Shepardson, Sr., felt unwell while in Nichols' store, whereupon 
the latter bathed his head with whisky. This started the idea that every Dem- 
ocrat present should be baptized with whisky into the Whig faith. It is im- 
possible to describe the scene that ensued. Whigs with mugs of whisky in 
their hands were seen in all directions chasing down Democrats, running 
through houses and gardens, jumping fences, clearing ditches in their precipi- 
tous efibrts at political regeneration. Many were baptized on that well-remem- 

* The meaning of the Indian word "Mongoquinong" is uncertain. The most trustworthy reports say that it 
was applied by the Indians to the prairie east of Lima, the open country being known by that name among the Pot- 
tawattomiee when the county was first settled by the whites, or even years before, when the Indian traders were the 
only white persons. Various meanings have been given the term — that it signifies " Big Squaw," or 'Big Chief" or 
" Big White Sqnaw," or as meaning both man and woman. Those who hold the last view say, that Shi-tno-hah-mong 
means white man, mong meaning man; albo, that Shi-mo-kah-nong means white woman, nong meaning woman. These 
two terms placed together and united by the proper connective would give mong (oqui) nong meaning man and woman 
This etymological analysis of the word, though plausible, cannot be maintained on good authority. The burden of 
evidence is that the term means " Big Squaw." 


bered day. Drusus Nichols employed a surveyor, and, in March, 1840, had 
laid out about one hundred and eighty lots on Sections 5 and 8. This was the 
first plat of Mongoquinong. That long name has been lately shortened to 
Mongo. The population of the village has probably at no time exceeded one- 
hundred and fifty. 

In early years, the streams of Springfield afforded an excellent place to 
fish and hunt. Hunters with flaming torches would float down the streams in 
canoes, and the deer which had come to drink would stand and stare at the 
light until shot. E. G. Shepardson and a companion were thus engaged one 
night, when they approached a deer so closely that they could have reached 
out their hands and touched it. Shepardson shot it through the heart. The 
report of the rifle rang in the ears of his companion for many years afterward. 
The deer fell partly across the boat. An old Indian near there was thus en- 
gaged one dark night, when he shot a deer that pluuged into his canoe, upset- 
ting it, and spilling the red man and his accouterments into the river. The 
old fellow reached shore in safety. Many years ago, the workmen who were 
excavating under a barn in the township unearthed two human skeletons, proba- 
bly those of Indians. Some say the skeletons belonged to persons who were 
murdered by a man named Hubbard, who had lived there very early, and who 
afterward was convicted of murder in Allen County, and punished. Springfield 
has within its border a Government signal station. 

After the organization of the county, and prior to May, 1834, Springfield 
Township remained attached to Greenfield ; but, at the latter date, the County 
Commissioners — in response to a petition presented them by John B. Clark, 
Jesse Huntsman, Joseph and Benjamin Foos, AVilliam Seaburn, Benjamin Jones, 
William S. Prentiss, and possibly a few others, who had sometime before met at 
a cabin built and abandoned by Samuel Gauthrop. and had drawn up the peti- 
tion in which it was asked that a new township be created, and that it be named 
Springfield — ordered the creation of such township, and directed that the first 
election be held at the residence of Benjamin Jones, on the first Monday in 
August, 1834. Mr. Prentiss was appointed Inspector of the election. Who 
were elected to the different township offices is not remembered. George Thomp- 
son was appointed by the Commissioners in September, 1834, to serve as Con- 
stable. In May, 1835, they appointed Benjamin Jones and Jesse Huntsman 
to officiate as Overseers of the Poor ; and David Michael and Edward Smith as 
Fence Viewers. At this time, the township was divided into two road districts, 
the division line being Turkey Creek. Joseph Foos was appointed Supervisor 
for the district west of the creek, and Leonard Appleman for that on the east 
side. Jane Clark, daughter of John B. Clark, was the first white child born 
in the township, June 4, 1831. In 1832, Ephraim Seeley, Esq., married Will- 
iam S. Prentiss and Jane Mary Clark. Some highly interesting works of the 
Mound-Builders are found in the western part of the township — fortifications, 
mounds, war implements, etc. 


The village of Springfield was laid out by Leonard Appleman in 1842, 133 
lots being surveyed and offered for sale. About the same time, be built a store- 
room and placed on its shelves several thousand dollars' worth of a general as- 
sortment of goods. At this time, he also built a warehouse and began buying 
a considerable quantity of grain, and began packing pork. He had at his com- 
mand a goodly sum of money, and for many years he dealt in these articles, hir- 
ing teamsters to convey his purchases to market at the most favorable seasons. 
By shrewd management, experience and a judicious expenditure of capital, he 
realized handsome profits. Mr, Appleman's besetting sin was his ungovernable 
appetite for strong drink. After his death, which occurred just before the last 
war, his son, John Appleman, took charge of the father's business. Frank 
Hamilton was in the Appleman building with goods for a few years during the 
lifetime of Leonard Appleman. Zekiel Brown and David Paulus, partners, 
sold goods in the village about the commencement of the last war. George Por- 
ter sold goods some nine years ago. Frederick Neutz and Hugh A. Porter were 
in with groceries for a short time. Then came William Strayer. Dr. House 
located there at an early day. He was succeeded by Dr. Grifiith. Dr. Alpharis 
M. Spaulding, a physician of the old school, established himself there some 
twenty-six years ago, where he has since remained enjoying a lucrative practice 
and the confidence of his patrons. The whisky traffic became so strong in the 
village for a series of years before the war, and so many young men through its 
jnfluence were drawn into dissipation, and even crime, that the sober citizens at 
last determined that it must stop. In 1857, Dr. Spaulding, William S. Pren- 
tiss, Minot Goodsell, T. C. Dille and others, ten or twelve in all, under proper 
authority, organized themselves into a lodge of Good Templars. This lodge 
grew rapidly in power and influence, and soon its members numbered over 
one hundred. Excellent work in the right direction was done, young and old 
men were reclaimed to lives of sobriety, and the sale for ten months was wholly 
stopped. But the excitement of war time came on, and, in about 1861, the 
lodge surrendered its charter. Afterward, when a keg of whisky was brought 
to the village, three of the most prominent citizens employed a young man for 
$3 to bore an auger hole in the bottom, from which all the liquor escaped and 
was lost. The old " Mayflower Lodge of Good Templars " will be remembered 
with pleasure for many long years in the future. A Masonic Lodge was organ- 
ized in Springfield about six years ago, with twelve or fifteen charter members. 
They were so scattered that, after a short time, the charter was surrendered. 
The membership did not exceed twenty-five. It was called " Prentiss Lodge, 
No. 505." George Bassett and Conrad Deal were early tavern-keepers. T. 
C. Dille was a cabinet-maker, an undertaker, and a carpenter. His work 
may be seen in all directions. The population of the village has probably at no 
time exceeded seventy-five. In 1880, the following persons had passed the age 
of seventy-five : Susan Arnold, seventy-six ; Eunice Fuller, eighty-six ; Harriet 
Gilbert, seventy-five ; Lydia Hugh, eighty-one ; Christopher Hawk, ninety ; 

<J/aj J^^'^ ^/Ai^ q/^^ 



Lena Hawk, seventy-five ; Willis Haskins, eighty- two ; Daniel Hart, seventy- 
seven ; Sarah Notestine, seventy-five ; Davi'd L. Poppino, eighty-two ; Henry 
Talmage, seventy-six ; Maria Tole, eighty-four ; Samuel Westcott, eighty-four. 
The first schoolhouse in the township was built on Section 20, near the 
cemetery, as early as 1836, or perhaps 1835, and Otis Shepardson, Jr., was era- 
ployed to teach the first term of school. It is thought this term was taught dur- 
ing the winter of 1835-36. A Mr. Melindy was an early teacher in this house. 
He was a Vermonter, and an eccentric character. After this building had been 
used but a few years, another was erected about a half a mile south, on Thomp - 
son's Corners. This was a frame structure, and was used many years. Finally 
the district Avas divided a few years before the last war, and two houses were 
built, one near the Chapman farm, and the other south on the Sears Corners 
The latter was destroyed by fire but was soon rebuilt. New houses have lately 
taken the place of both. In about the year of 1810, a log cabin that had 
been built just north of Appleman Lake, for a dwelling, but abandoned, was 
fitted up for a schoolhouse, and Miss Harriet Twitchell, from near Orland, was 
hired to teach, receiving about $1.50 per week, and boarding around. Some 
ten years later, a frame schoolhouse was built near the same spot, and, in 
this building, Russell Brown was the first teacher. This house was used until 
the present one was built some eight or ten years ago. A log schoolhouse was 
standing at the Talmage Corners at a very early day. The name of the first 
teacher is not remembered. It is said that this house was either built as a 
combined church (Baptist) and schoolhouse, or else it was converted to religious 
uses afterward, as various denominations (Baptist, Methodist, etc.) had small 
classes there at a very early day. A schoolhouse was built quite early in the 
Sanderson neighborhood. .New houses have succeeded the old. The Schultz 
Schoolhouse was erected about seven years ago, when the district in the forks 
was created. For a number of years prior to 1855, the few families in Spring- 
field village had no church, and were compelled to send their children some dis- 
tance to one of the country schools. Finally it was resolved to build a com- 
bined church and schoolhouse. The Township Trustees agreed to give $300 
toward the erection of such a house, providing it was used at proper times as a 
schoolhouse. To this the villagers agreed, they giving $400 that the building 
might, when not occupied by the school, be used for a church of any Christian 
denomination. The building is provided with a steeple, a curious appendage 
for a schoolhouse, but an imposing one for a church. This house was built dur- 
ing the summer of 1855, but prior to that several terms of select school had 
been taught in the village. In about 1838, a log school building was erected 
on the line between Sections 27 and 28, just north of William Dunbar's. Miss 
Ellen Wheeler taught the first term here. She boarded around. This house 
was used for school purposes about four years, and was then superseded by the 
school of the Phalanx. The schoolroom at the last-named place was in the 
second story over the dining-room. There were some forty families cojinected 


with the association (for sketch of which see county chapter), with an enumer- 
ation of over sixty scholars. School was taught there the year round, save 
short vacations between the terms. At the time, this was perhaps the best 
school in the county, or at least one of the best. Judge Prentiss, a noble man, 
and a graduate of Harvard College, taught several terms. An assistant teacher 
was employed. Mr. Parker was one of the teachers. None but capable men 
were given charge of the school, as several of the higher branches were taught, 
and a thorough system of discipline was required. At the dissolution of the as- 
sociation the school ended, and then the few children in the district were sent 
to other schools until about thirteen years ago, when the present house, a frame, 
was built. Miss Ellen Foos was the first teacher in this house. Miss Ella 
Ewing is the present teacher, receiving $30 per month. In about 1839, a 
frame schoolhouse was built about a half a mile northwest of M8ngo. It 
was a good house and was used there until about 1845, when it was moved to 
Mongo, and used until eight or nine years ago, when the present two-story 
frame structure was erected, at a cost of about $1,800. Two teachers are em- 
ployed at present. The enumeration is about eighty scholars. The house was 
paid for partly by subscription and partly from the township funds. A school- 
house was built in District No. 1 about thirty-eight years ago, by E, G. Shep- 
ardson. He also built one farther west about ten years later. 

The M. E. Church society at Talmage Corners started up in 1838 with a 
membership of fourteen under the ministration of Rev. G. M. Boyd. Among 
the early members were Jehu Lackey and wife, Mrs, Nichols, W. S. Newnam, 
Susan Newnam, William Seaburn and wife, Conrad Deal and wife, William 
Herbert and wife, N. B. Newnam and wife, Frank Hamilton and wife, and 
others. The Talmages have been prominent and excellent citizens since a very 
early day. They have been closely identified with religious work. This Meth- 
odist society has had its years of depression, and its periods of financial embar- 
rassment; yet there is not another in the county that has clung to its constant 
exercises so well. The members are justly proud of their church, which was 
built many years ago. The Brushy Prairie M. E. Society was organized in 
1836 by Rev. T. B. Conley. Eleven persons joined at the time of organiza- 
tion. The church was built in 1842, largely at the expense of B. B. Water- 
house, the Greenfields, Mr. Carpenter, the Austins and others. Rev. Conley 
was a faithful, consistent, true-hearted Christian. His temporal welfare had at 
one time been somewhat neglected, as the members of the church gave donation 
parties to other servants. He said nothing. One evening, a few of the more 
thoughtful ones, accompanied by a retinue of outsiders, surprised him with a 
large quantity of valuables. The kind-hearted old man was so touched by the 
act, that, in his reply to the presentation speech, ho completely broke down with 
sobs and blessings. His God had not forsaken him. The writer was unable to 
get at the facts regarding the Baptist society of early years at Talmage Cor- 
ners. A United Brethren society was organized at Mongo in 1879. Rev. T. 


A. Childs, of Lima, was instrumental in effecting the organization. The first 
members were Dr. A. W. Jones and wife, George W. Hall and wife, Benjamin 
Tanner and wife, James Downs and wife and Abraham Shafer. Samuel Mc- 
Kenzie was the class leader. The society has increased but little in num- 
bers. A neat frame church was built in 1880 at a cost of about $1,500, one- 
half being given by outsiders. There is a debt on the church at present of 
about $500 ; but this will soon be paid off, suitable provision having been made 
with that result in view. Sunday school has been conducted for some two 
years, Dr. C. M. Whitzel being the first superintendent. T. A. Childs was the 
first pastor. Rev. Melvin Bell at present preaches every two weeks for the so- 
ciety, and is paid $50 per year for such service. The lot upon which the 
church stands cost $100, and was included in the figures above. There are 
many Free Thinkers in Mongo, and, indeed, throughout Springfield Township. 
They are outspoken, argumentative, thoughtful, uncertain, peculiar and icon- 
oclastic. Some thirty-four years ago, the Spiritualists hold " seances " or "cir- 
cles," in various portions of the township, and large crowds gathered to hear 
them. Mediums of great repute were secured from abroad, to visit the town- 
ship for the purpose of giving public exhibition of the fact that the spirits of 
departed friends could be conversed with. The result was that scores were con- 
verted to the new faith ; and the other religious societies languished under the 
influence of the new. At last, great opposition was manifested by the ortho- 
dox, who often denied them the use of schoolhouses or other buildings in which 
to assemble. In June, 1858, at a public meeting of the following men — W. S. 
Prentiss, Jesse Huntsman, Benjamin Jones, Harvey Olmstead, Ed. Dyer,. 
George Thompson and others — it was resolved to build a free hall, and names 
and subscribed amounts were appended to the following instrument : 

We, the subscribers, a voluntary association, for religious, scientific and benevolent pur- 
poses, hereby agree to pay the sums affixed to our names to aid in building a hall, which shall 
be open for lectures, discourses and discussions on various subjects, with no favor to any one 
sect or class of persons, and which shall never be closed to any one who may, within the bound* 
of good behavior, wish to advocate, explain or discuss his or her opinions on the above-name(J 
subjects ; and, for the purpose of proceeding legally, we hereby avail ourselves of the act of the 
Legislature of Indiana, approved June 17, 1852, entitled : "An act to enable trustees to receive 
lands and donations of money, the same for the use of schools, churches, religious societies, etc.> 
and for constructing houses of worship and other buildings named." 

The building was immediately erected at a cost of about $800, and was 
named " Union Hall." It has been used for the purpose stated since its erec- 
tion, but the orthodox denominations avoid using it. Free Sunday schools 
have been held there. An excellent lyceum is conducted there almost every 
winter, and exhibitions are given to secure sufficient funds to keep the building 
in repair. 


by r. h. reeick. 

Clearspring To'svnship— Introductory— Topography— Early Appearance 
OF THE Country— The Coming of the Pioneer- The Settler's Home- 
Rollings AND Raisings— Industrial Development— Incidents and Sta- 
tistics—The Teacher and the Preacher. 

IN the beginning of this century, the beautiful country now covered with 
fertile farms and meadows and woodland, which is called Clearspring, was a 
terra incognita to the white man. The Indians alone roamed through its 
unbroken forests, hunting the game and refreshing themselves at the springs 
that made this locality so attractive. The country presented no peculiar 
advantages to the farmer, as a whole, though in the southwest there lay the 
eastern part of that broad and extremely fertile opening, called the Haw 
Patch. The remainder of the thirty-six miles was a rolling country, covered by 
forests of beech, oak and maple, which were to be felled before the fertile soil 
would yield its riches to the patient pioneer. Clearspring and Eden were at 
first one township, and their fitness for such a union was shown by the first set- 
tlement. The best lands in each township lie near the line separating them, 
and this fact invited settlement about the Haw Patch, while the swamps to the 
east and the west kept those sections backward in their development. The 
first settler in Clearspring was not bound down by sectional lines. He rose 
above township limitations. His log-house, at least, was raised precisely upon 
the town line, and he could bid defiance, as it was jocosely remarked after the 
division of the towns, to the constabulary of either. Anthony Nelson, this 
first settler, came into Indiana from Ohio in 1829, and located first in Elkhart 
Oounty, and then came to this township and entered two eighty-acre lots in 
1831, which he occupied the next year, and has ever since lived upon. Mr. 
Nelson is now eighty-five years of age. One of the next comers was Dr. David 
Rogers, who was in the township in 1833, from Wayne County, N. Y., and 
entered 1,280 acres of land in this township and Eden, as a speculator. He 
spent much time in the township, however, and for the last fifteen or eighteen 
years of his life resided here almost continually, collecting herbs and roots for 
medicine, and attending to a considerable practice as a physician. He also 
made a business of selling extracts, essences, etc., in the East, and traveled a 
great deal for that purpose. He collected his simples in all parts of the East, 
as well as here. He was a man of many eccentricities, and a real " naturalist." 
He would often spend the summer in a cave or in a slight shed, preferring to 
have nothing more artificial between him and the canopy of heaven. His 
house, a sort of adobe contrivance, was on his land in Section 22, but he lived 
much of the time Avith his neighbor, Erastus Nelson. Dr. Rogers died in 1871, 


and was buried on a little hill near his home, overlooking the Haw Patch road, 
where there is a fine shaft of marble bearing the inscription : " Dr. David 
Rogers, born June 2, 1786, died February 24, 1874, aged eighty-five years 
eight months and twenty-two days. He was the friend of the invalid, and gave 
medicine without money and without price." 

He left a will dated March 7, 1868, by which he bequeathed the remain- 
der of his lands lying in this county, consisting of eighty acres in Clearspring 
and one hundred and sixty in Eden " to the Commissioners of the county of 
La Grange and their successors in ofiice forever, in trust forever, for the use 
and benefit of the orphan poor, and for other destitute persons of said county." 

Norman Sessions settled on Section 27 in 1834. He was married to Min- 
erva Gaines, of Eden, by Justice William McConnell, February 8, 1835. 
This was the first marriage in the township. His first child was, it is thought, 
the first born in the township and also the first one to die. It was buried in a 
lot then donated (1837), by Elisha Pixley, for a burying-ground, Mr, Sessions 
himself died at the age of thirty -two, in March, 1841. 

In 1834, John Sprout settled at first with Anthony Nelson upon the line, 
but afterward moved upon Section 19, where he died in 1878. Nathan Bishop 
of North Carolina, sometimes called the first settler, came April 12, 1834, 
with his young son Robert, and nephew, Robert H., and entered upon land in Sec- 
tion 22. Nathan Bishop, a Free- Will Baptist, was the first preacher in the 
township. He held service at his home for many years, and organized a soci- 
ety which met there, but gradually died out. In addition to this work, Mr. 
Bishop preached at various places throughout the town. He died March 3^ 
1850. His eldest son Robert, who was born in 1799, still lives on the old 
farm. In the early days he was the only blacksmith in the town, and, with his 
father, built and worked the first tannery in that vicinity. James Gordon, a 
son-in-law of Nathan Bishop, came with him and had the honor of sowing the 
first wheat in Clearspring, on Section 28, and of being the first mason. Amos 
Newhouse, with his son John, settled on Section 32, in the spring of 1835, and 
began clearing the large farm, which he occupied until his death in 1875. He 
was a native of Virginia, and is remembered as a quiet and industrious man. 
A half mile from Mr. Newhouse's estate lies the farm upon the county line, 
which John S. Gibson, after living at the Haw Patch a short time, occupied in 
the same year, and at this date still lives to enjoy. 

Elijah Pixley was another settler of 1835, from Union County, Ind., and 
began here his farming life upon Section 28, where he lived until his death in 
1874. Upon his land were located the first schoolhouse, the first burying- 
ground and the first church in the township. His sons Edward and James 
Pixley have since been residents of Clearspring. The year 1836 was the time 
of increased immigration, and many of the best citizens coming that year were 
able, at the time of the Centennial celebration of the nation, to commemorate the 
fortieth anniversary of their settlement. Among these was Charles Roy, who 


came with his family upon his land in Section 22, near the center of the town- 
ship, on the 20th of June. Mr. Roy has always been an energetic man, and has 
made valuable improvements. He was the first to raise fruit to any great 
extent, and early had a nursery of 700 trees, and an orchard of ten acres. 
He was also one of the first to raise mint and distill the oil, and came to do an 
extensive business in this line. Simeon Crosby came from New York and set- 
tled in the west half of Section 34, but died in 1839, three years after his 
arrival. A daughter, Sarah Crosby, was one of the first married in the town- 
ship, then a part of Eden, being married to John Hubbard, September 12, 
1836, by Rev. James Latta. 

Nicholas Lowe and wife came from Maryland and settled on Section 29, 
where he came to possess 300 acres of land upon which he and his son, Rev. 
Thomas H. Lowe, now reside. Ernestus Schermerhorn, of Syracuse, N. Y., 
was in the township at this time, and bought land in the northeast, but did not 
settle until 1839. He died forty years later, February 8, 1876. Willard 
Hervey came in this year, at first to the home of Simeon Crosby, whose daugh- 
ter he married in 1839. This lady, when Miss Sebrina Crosby, had taught 
school in Amasa Durand's house, north of La Grange. It is told of her, as 
an instance of what the pioneer girls had to endure, that at one time, when 
living at home, and her father dangerously ill and without any remedy or doc- 
tor near, she walked through the forests the whole distance to Lima, about 
fifteen miles, to bring Dr. Jewett, the nearest physician. Most of the journey, 
an Indian trail was the only road, and at one point she had to cross Buck 
Creek, which was swollen with floods, and only partially bridged with logs. 
But she pulled off her shoes, and jumping from log to log, made the passage 
safely and brought the doctor to her father. In 1836, October 3, William 
Dallas, of Ohio, settled in Section 26, on the present land of Norton Kinnison. 
He had with him his sister aud fourteen motherless children, of whom, Samuel, 
Lorenzo, George, Joseph and Levi are now well-to-do citizens of the township. 
His home was near the Elkhart River, near where it emerges from a group of 
lakes, of which the most eastern lie partly in the township. These four bod- 
ies of water, the largest of which is called Dallas Lake, are the only ones in 
Clearspring, and occupy but about three hundred acres. Mr. Dallas at once 
began to utilize the water-power of the river, and in 1837 built a grist-mill 
near his home. This was a considerable undertaking for a man in his circum- 
stances, and in such a remote place. But his perseverance carried it through, 
and it was soon completed and ready to grind the grists of the few farmers for 
miles around. Before this time the wheat had been carried to Goshen, Ontario 
or Van Buren. " Uncle Billy's corn-cracker," as it was called, was of a very 
primitive and simple construction. The building, built of whitewood logs, 
was so low that the man who put the grain in the hopper had to make a 
humble passage beneath the rafters. There were no castings about the mill ; 
all was wood except the mill-stones, and of these there were but one pair, and 


the millstone shaft, a flat bar of iron. A bolt only was necessary and that 
was soon supplied, but there were no cog-wheels or belting, and consequently 
this had to be revolved at first by hand, a process which required a good deal 
of muscle. Sometimes the patrons of the mill were called on to assist in this 
operation. The mill had a capacity for grinding about fifty bushels in twenty- 
four hours, but never was called on for such an extraordinary business. To 
this mill men came with their grain from the whole neighborhood (and neigh- 
borhoods were large in those days) in ox carts, on horseback, afoot or in canoes. 
It was an accommodating institution, run by one of the most accommodating 
men that ever blessed a new community with his presence. 

Three or four years later, Mr. Dallas built a saw-mill near by, which, after 
his death, was run by Van Kirk until the dam broke, about 1851. " Uncle 
Billy" Dallas, as he was familiarly called, died many years ago (in 1847), but 
his many virtues still live in the memory of the old settlers. 

Others, who came in 1836, are James Haviland, who built the first barn ; 
Henderson Potts, the first disciple of Crispin ; N. P. Osborn and David Ray. 

We have named those who were here by 1836, and, by common consent, 
are called the "old settlers" — at least the earliest settlers. Among them, 
however, should be included Hawley Peck, born in Connecticut in 1810, who 
bought eighty acres in Clearspring in 1836, but did not come until 1838, when 
he concluded to settle here, and bought 160 acres more, and in 1844 commenced 
improvements upon it. He has done much for the advancement of the town- 
ship, and his large family of sons and daughters (now grown to manhood and 
womanhood) are among the best people of the county. Charles S. Sperling, 
now eighty-nine years of age, the oldest man in the township, settled, in 1843, 
upon Section 4. 

After 1836, the immigration proceeded rapidly, and the many settlers 
since then we cannot name except as they were connected with the events of 
the general history of the township. 

As the tide of population came in, the price of land rose, and the low price 
of $1.25 that the Government asked was increased to $3 or $4 in 1836 and to 
$8 or $10 two years later. With this change, the price of products decreased; 
but in the earliest years the contrast with the present was not very marked. 
Wheat then was worth $1 per bushel ; corn, 50 cents ; oats, 37 cents ; butter, 
37 J cents; soft soap, 37 cents per gallon; hogs, $10 to $14; cows, $30. 

The Indians were removed before 1840 and the white men left in undis- 
turbed possession. The Pottawatomies were, however, not in any way trouble- 
some to the pioneers. There were a great many of them in the township, es- 
pecially in the south, where they had a camping-ground on a high ridge, now 
known as the "Hogback." They were agriculturists in a small way, and 
raised corn on low ground near the ridge. But they were very conservative in 
their farming. One year a party of them planted corn on the farm of Anthony 
Nelson and were very much opposed to his plowing and harrowing the ground; 


but, when he came to mark out the patch in rows, their disgust was unbounded. 
The chief Kookoosh, however, was wise enough to respect the pale face's little 
eccentricities in farming and kept his men at work, and they succeeded in rais- 
ing a very good crop. Another old chief was one of those few red men who 
justify the poet's account of " Lo, the poor Indian ! " He seemed to see " God 
in the clouds and hear him in the wind," and at every meal, before he would 
partake of any food, he would invoke the blessing of the Great Spirit. The 
Indians were always ready for a trade with the pioneers, and would exchange 
venison, cranberries, moccasins and trinkets for vegetables and whatever the 
white men had to spare. A famous spring on the farm of Charles Roy, known 
as Clearspring, whence the township derived its name, was a great resort for 
the Indians, and there were many other springs, such as Indian Spring, south 
of the first named, which their trails passed. 

In March, 1837, the Commissioners set off from Eden Township the terri- 
tory now known as Clearspring, and ordered an election at Elijah Pixley's, on 
the first Monday of April. In accordance with this, some fifteen or twenty 
voters met at the appointed place, and proceeded to vote for township officers. 
The records cannot be found, and, consequently, a full list is impossible, but it 
is believed that the first Trustees were Ernestus Schermerhorn, Willard Hervey 
and Elijah Pixley, and the first Justices, William F. Beavers and Norman Ses- 
sions. N. P. Osborn was chosen Clerk, and received ^3 for his year's service. 
The Trustees were paid |2.25 each for the first year. Beavers was soon after, 
June 23, married to Mary J. Cummins, of this township. 

The Justices since then, as far as the county records show, have been : 
William Harding, 1839-49 ; John Strang, 1843-48 ; Hawley Peck, 1848-51 : 
William D. Sloan, 1849-50 ; William H. H. Aldrich, 1850-52 ; John Strang, 
1851-55 ; Nathan P. Osburn, 1852-56 ; William Price, 1856-60 ; John L. 
Strang, 1860-64 ; William Yarwood, 1865-73 ; Orvin Kent, 1867-71 ; Wil- 
lard Hervey, 1871-75 ; James Chandler, 1873-77 ; Thomas H. Low, 1875- 
79; James Chandler, 1877-81; Norman Babcock, 1879. The records 
of the township were kept on papers or memorandum books until 1844, 
when the Trustees made an appropriation for record books and for copy- 
ing old records. But the records, notwithstanding this provision, are not to be 
found for any earlier year than 1842. The place of election was then still at 
the house of Elijah Pixley. The spring election of that year resulted in the 
choice of Elijah Osborn, William Dallas and John Strang, as Trustees ; N. P. 
Osborn, Clerk, and Anson Lewis and Caleb Strang, Constables. At that time, 
there were three Trustees. In 1845, William Dallas, William Harding and 
Benjamin Chandler were elected; in 1846, Chandler, Charles Roy and Amos 
Newhouse ; in 1848, Chandler, Roy and E. Osborn ; in 1850, William Baxter, 
Charles Roy and John Kitchen ; in 1852, Baxter, Kitchen and W. D. Sloan ; 
in 1854, Charles G. Doty, Erastus Nelson and John Tumbleson. At the spring 
election of next year, but one Trustee was elected, and this has since been the 



rule. The Trustees since have been : Schuyler Nelson, 1855 ; John Kitchen, 
Sr., 1859 ; Schuyler Nelson, 1862 ; John Kitchen, Sr., 1863 ; Joel Mil- 
ler, 1864 ; Christopher Hooley, 1865 ; Erastus Nelson, 1870 ; John Green- 
await, 1876 ; John Price, 1880. Among the early Clerks were W. H. 
H. Aldridge, in 1846; William H. Price, 1850, who still lives in the 
township with his son, the present Trustee, and Richard Green, a popular, 
but rather eccentric old settler, who for many years constituted the " Anti- 
Masonic party " in the county. The place of election was in 1842 removed to 
the house of Nathan Bishop ; in 1845, to Charles Roy's, and about 1854 to the 
Bishop Schoolhouse. 

At the taking of the 1880 census, the returns for the township 
show that the following-named persons, residents thereof, were of the age 
set opposite their names, the object being to show those who had attained 
the age of seventy-five or over, viz.: Robert Bishop, seventy-nine; Sarah 
Misner, seventy-five ; Eliza Parks, seventy -five ; Samuel Smith, seventy-five ; 
Benjamin Wortinger, seventy-five ; Charles S. Sperling, eighty-eight. 

In 1846, Hawley Peck began the growing of mint and manufacture of oil, 
which became quite an industry in the township. The oil was canned and 
shipped to the East, or sold to buyers who would collect it, and found a ready 
sale at prices varying from $1.25 to $5 per pound. Several persons engaged in 
mint raising, Charles Roy and Erastus Nelson being among the earliest and 
most extensive growers. The annual production varied in value between 
$5,000 and $10,000, until within the last few years, when the industry has 
been discontinued. 

Before 1850, there was serious talk of running the road now called the 
Lake Shore &• Michigan Southern Air Line, through the southern part of the 
township. A line was surveyed, and there were positive assurances of the 
building of the road through Clearspring, which induced the hope of a speedy 
rise in the value of real estate, and the growth of a flourishing town on the site 
of " Slabtown." Years after, when the road was finally built, the superior 
persuasive powers of the land-owners of the little village of Kendallville led 
the engineers to adopt a more southern route, and Clearspring's first hope of 
being on an east-and-west iron line was blasted. But it was through no fault 
of the early settlers, who did their best to secure the road, and were at one time 
positively assured of it. 

As there has never been a village in the township, the business history is 
very light. The first store was kept by the Cummings family, south of " Slab- 
town," upon the Eden town line, and Timothy Hudson, Jr., afterward kept a 
store at his house in Clearspring, in connection with the saw-mill and tannery. 
The first brick yard was on Harrison Smith's land, on "Jordan street," and 
two are now in operation, by B. F. Ditman and Henry J. Ulmer. 

In 1873, there were two granges of the Patrons of Husbandry organized 
in the township. One, the Clearspring Grange, met at Pixley's Schoolhouse, 


and had at one time forty members. The Worthy Master was John Gillette, 
and Secretary, Ira Ford. The Dallas Grange met at Curl's ; Ichabod Jones 
was the first presiding officer. These associations survived until 1880. This 
movement met with greater encouragement in this township and Eden than in 
any other part of the county. 

The numerous narrow trails of the Indians were the first roads of the 
settlers, but steps were soon taken to make highways. Anthony Nelson was 
at one time notified of his appointment as Road Supervisor, and promptly mus- 
tered his forces and went to work, camping out nights until his job was com- 
pleted. His road district extended from Lima to Ligonier. Elijah Pixley was 
one of the earliest Supervisors, and built the road running east from Sycamore 
Corners in 1835-36. Orvin Kent, not at that time a permanent resident in the 
township, but who later became one of the most influential men of Clearspring, 
was that year upon his land, and was called upon to assist on this road. This 
was the first road in the township, and formed part of the Haw Patch, or 
Ligonier road. 

In 1842, the township was divided into four road districts, which increased 
to eleven in 1846, and now number fifteen. The roads are generally good ones, 
and kept in excellent condition. In 1872, there was an excellent prospect for 
the building of the Chicago & Canada Southern road through the south of the 
township. It was, in fact, a sure thing. But the panic of 1873 came, and 
Clearspring is still without a railroad. 

The first school in the town was held in a little log house on Charles 
Roy's land, southwest of Clearspring, in the fall of 1839. The teacher was 
Miss Anna Maria Crosby (daughter of Simeon C), who married Samuel Dallas 
in 1841. The pioneer schoolma'am then, dressed in homespun linsey-woolsey, 
teaching in a log house, twelve feet square, for $1.25 per week, was in great 
contrast, as to her surroundings and facilities, with the teacher of modern days 
in- the comfortable buildings which dot the township over. But in earnest 
teaching and real success in their work, the first school teachers need fear 
nothing from a contrast with the modern "educator." The text-books which 
the boys and girls of that day used were mainly Webster's Speller, the New 
Testament and the Old English Reader. This log building, which has now 
disappeared, had been Mr. Roy's first house, and besides serving as an educa- 
tional institution, also afforded a temporary shelter for many poor pioneers until 
they could build log cabins of their own. In 1840, two schoolhouses were 
built of logs, one at Hervey's Corners, by Willard Hervey, and the other at 
Hiram Taylor's, and the township was divided into two school districts. The 
first teacher at the Hervey Schoolhouse was Joseph Miller. The building of 
schoolhouses, at this early day, by levies of school tax, was too slow a method, 
and in 1855 the citizens were granted the privilege of building and repairing 
schoolhouses with the right of having credit for the same on their subsequent 
taxes. Soon after, one district agreed, as the record runs, " nem. con. to build 


a hewed log house, 18x20." In 1841, the township, divided by sections, in- 
cluded only seven districts, but the schools were not crowded, as the enumera- 
tion four years later shows but fifty-two school children in the township. One 
of the earliest schoolhouses was Pixley's, about 1850, on Section 28, and was 
built by that neighborhood. The old log house was replaced by a frame in 
1861. In 1856, the house at Hiram Taylor's was rebuilt. In 1849, Orvin 
Kent deeded land for the site of the Sycamore Schoolhouse, so called on account 
of a tall Sycamore at the corners ; this school district was formed through the 
efforts of Orvin Kent and others, and includes territory in Eden and Clear- 
spring. A new schoolhouse was built further east in 1870; on the same 
section stands the Walnut Schoolhouse, with the Walnuts still there, built in 
1861. The "Jordan " Schoolhouse, built in 1860, and the Wertinger, in 1863, 
are still in use. A log schoolhouse was erected on Nathan Bishop's land, on 
the east line of Section 2'2, in 1850, which has since disappeared, being replaced 
by the Sloan house in 1860, a short distance north. Near this schoolhouse 
lies the old burying-ground, started before 1850, now known as Sloan's. The 
Hackenburg or Red Schoolhouse, dates back to 1865, and Harris' to about the 
same year. The first brick schoolhouse was the Chandler, built in 1877. 
Another one has just been completed, in the same quarter, called Streeter's, 
which takes the place of the old Curl Schoolhouse, which was first built about 
1841. According to the latest statistics, the township has 351 pupils, who 
are instructed in twelve schoolhouses. The average length of school is 140 
days. The revenue of last year was ^4,969.67, and the value of school build- 
ings is $5,000. 

The earliest preacher, Nathan Bishop, has already been spoken of The 
first society to be organized in the township was one of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, which held its meetings at Swank's house, over the line in Noble 
County. Among the members of this little congregation were Elijah Pixley, 
Mark Kinnison, Mrs. Ruth Ray and Henderson Potts. Rev. James Latta, of 
the Haw Patch, was the organizer. The famous itinerants, Posey and Allen, 
had preached here before the society was formed, and paved the way for it. 
This society soon died out, and was succeeded in that neighborhood by a Meth- 
odist Protestant Church, meeting at Hervey's (or Ray's) Schoolhouse. The 
first quarterly meeting was held here February 15, 1845, when Willard Hervey 
was licensed as an exhorter. Rev. Beardsley was the pastor in charge at this 
time, and this was one of the societies in the Goshen Circuit. A church of th e 
same denomination was organized at the Taylor Schoolhouse in 1851. There 
was also a Methodist society meeting at John Hammond's on the Clay town 
line, which was preached to by William Connelly and James Latta. 

Of late years, an Amish organization has been formed in the northwest 
part of the township, which has its meetings by appointment at convenient 
places among its members. The church of the "Best Endeavor " is one of 
the most recent religious organizations. This somewhat familiar title attaches 


to the congregation formerly meeting in the Pixley Schoolhouse, and now in 
the Beulah Church, and for several years addressed by Rev. John Paul Jones, 
of La Grange. It is quite unsectarian in character. The origin of the church 
building is quite interesting. The land upon which it stands was deeded by 
John Greenawalt to the Evangelical Union Mennonites, to be used by them, 
but to be free for other churches, and after their disuse of it, to go to any other 
Christian organization under the same conditions. Here a handsome brick 
church was built, principally by popular subscription, and was dedicated May 
8, 1881, the services being conducted by Rev. J. P. Jones, assisted by Revs. 
D. Brenneman and Thomas H. Low. The building is, in dimensions, 32x54, 
is furnished with comfortable seats, and cost $3,000, The erection of this 
church is in great part due to the efforts of Thomas H. Low, formerly a min- 
ister in the Mennonite Church. This society was organized in 1867, by Elder 
John Krupp, with thirty members, and held its early meetings at the Walnut 

The township, as a whole, does not make a proper showing in the way of 
churches. The fact is that on every side there are churches just outside the 
township limits, which draw much of their attendance from Clearspring, and 
this explains a fact which might tend against the fame of a people who are, as 
a whole, industrious, religious and public-spirited. 



Greenfield Township— The First Settlement on Pretty and English 
Prairies— The Gage and Langdon War— Appearance of Industries- 
Villagers OF Vistula and Lexington— The First School and Teacher 
—Educational Growth— Revival of 1840— Religious Societies — The 

THE lands in Southern Michigan were in market some years before those of 
Northern Indiana, and were, of course, purchased and occupied by sturdy 
pioneers who had come from the East. Many of these men soon became dis- 
satisfied with their new homes, as the land was covered with an almost unbroken 
forest, which must be removed before the soil could be cultivated. This prom- 
ised many years of unremitting toil, and the outlook for those who had just 
come from Europe, or who were unused to the ways of the woods, was cheerless 
and discouraging. During the year 1829 there came to near White Pigeon, 
Mich., the following men and their families : Amos Barr (who arrived in the 
spring), John Anderson, Samuel Anderson, William Miller, Benjamin Jones, 
John and Felix Miller (brothers), Jesse Huntsman, Ephraim Seeley, Jacob 
Croy, and perhaps others. Some of these families came from Ohio — a number 

(JjAAyiytoW (f^juJe. 



from the same neighborhood — while others were directly from Europe, or from 
the Eastern or Middle States. They were not all in the same vicinity in Mich- 
igan, but, during the year, they all became aware of the fact that, in what is now 
northern La Grange County, several rich, extensive and beautiful prairies were 
to be found where the soil needed no preparation for grain save the action of 
the plow. But at that period these prairies were not yet marketable, and, in 
order to secure a right to the land, " claims " were located, and the settlers pre- 
pared to enjoy a squatter's life until the prairie claims could be bought. It is 
well authenticated that the above-named men located claims on Pretty and En- 
glish Prairies during the year 1829. The first to do this cannot be known. 
From the fact that Amos Barr was by several months the first to reach South- 
ern Michigan, it may be presumed that he was at least (if not the first) one of 
the first to establish a claim in Greenfield Township. A few of the men — as 
William Miller and Benjamin Jones — did not reach Southern Michigan until 
late in the fall of 1829, and, of course, their claims on the prairies were not 
made until that time. Claims in the woods were established by blazed trees ; 
those on the prairies by stakes or by plowed furrows. So far as known, Amos Barr 
was the first man to erect a cabin in the township, this being done during the 
fall of 1829, but the building was roofless and floorless, and was probably erected 
to more fully establish the right to the claim, around which (the prairie portion) 
a furrow was plowed before cold weather set in. Often during the winter of 
1829-30, these men (who resided in Southern Michigan) visited their claims to 
see that others had not usurped their rights. Thus the winter was passed. 
Quite early in the spring of 1830, William Miller and Benjamin Jones (who 
had spent the previous winter, either in the same cabin or in two that were close 
together) loaded their goods in probably the same wagon, tore the roof ofi" the cabin 
in which they had lived and placed it on the wagon, and then moved with their 
families to near the present site of Lexington. Small tents were improvised 
until two rude cabins (perhaps they do not deserve so dignified a name) had 
been built. Miller's cabin was located southwest of the village, while Jones' 
was near the northern part of the same. This occurred in April or May, and 
these were, so far as known, the first families in the township. During the 
same year (1830), there settled mostly on the prairies of Greenfield, the following 
men and their families : Amos Barr, Thomas Burnell, John Emerson, John 
Olney, Mr. Sutford, Jesse Huntsman, Felix Miller, James Miller, Jesse Champ- 
lin, Samuel Anderson, Ephraim Seeley, Jabob Croy, Mr. Wolgamott and several 
others. During the next year or two, all the prairie land was "claimed," and 
by the time the county was organized, in 1832, at least twenty-five families 
resided in the township (in what is now Greenfield). Some of these families 
were those of McKal, William Brumley, Samuel Robinson, Mr. Leeper, Sam- 
uel Fish, Jacob Miller, Silas Thrailkeld, Amasa Norton, Edmund Littlefield, 
Milton and Oliver Smith, Thomas and Samuel Parham (1836), Samuel Brad- 
ford, Harlo and William Hern, Mr. Switzer, Mr. Gale, William Legg, Mr. 


Stead, Mr. Wade, Thomas Lozenby, Jacob Vandeventer, D. Lewis (colored), 
John Leak, William Adair, George Donaldson, John Safely, Samuel and James 
Burnside, David and Otis Stevenson, Samuel Gawthrop, David Allen, John 
Kelley and a host of others who continued to come in very fast. 

At the organization of the county in 1832, it was divided into two town- 
ships — Lima and Greenfield — the latter including all that part of the present 
county as lies east of the middle line of Range 10 west, together with portions 
of Noble and Steuben Counties. Ephraim Seeley was appointed Assessor for 
the then Greenfield Township, and an election was ordered to be held on the 
second Saturday of June, 1832, for the selection of two Justices of the Peace, 
Jessie Champlin receiving the appointment of Inspector of Election. The 
Commissioners also appointed Ebenezer Fish and William Miller, Fence Viewers ; 
John Anderson and Samuel Burnside, Overseers of the Poor. At this first 
election, Mr. Seeley was elected one of the Justices, but the name of the other 
is forgotten, as are also those of the other officers elected at the same time. 

Improvements went on very rapidly during the years 1830, 1831 and 1832. 
Nearly or quite all the prairie land was broken up and fenced ofi" into farms, 
and homes were established in the surrounding woods. At last, when the town- 
ship was surveyed and the land thrown into market, a great rush was made by 
an army of anxious squatters to secure the land they had partially improved, 
and upon which they then lived. It was during the Black Hawk war (summer 
of 1832) that the citizens of Greenfield and surrounding townships were thrown 
into a fever of fear by what is remembered as " The Gage War." Two men, 
named respectively Gage and Langdon, went one day to mill in the northern 
part of Springfield Township. Before this, considerable talk had been indulged 
in concerning the probability of the Indians arising in war against the settlers, 
as large bands were then in the county, and the border struggle farther west was 
not unknown to them. This talk prepared the minds of the settlers for what was 
to follow. Gage, Langdon, the miller and others at the mill renewed the gossip, 
continuing it until late at night, when the former two retired with some serious 
misgivings in their minds. After they had gone to bed, it was resolved by three 
or four at the mill to give them an " Indian scare" early the next morning. 
Two or three, or perhaps more, assisted by several Indians, dressed themselves 
in full Indian war costume, with war paint and blanket and tomahawk, etc. 
The next morning, while Gage and Langdon were talking in front of the mill 
with the miller, a large Indian suddenly showed himself from behind a tree 
near by, and, raising his rifle quickly, fired, and the miller fell to the earth 
apparently in the agonies of death, exclaiming. " My God, the Indians ! I'm 
shot ! " The Indian who had apparently shot the miller and one or two others 
came leaping forward, swinging their tomahawks and yelling like demons. 
Gage and Langdon instantly fled from the scene at the top of their speed. Gage 
going north in the excitement, and Langdon south. They made excellent time 
across the country, informing every one they saw that the Indians were coming, 


that they had shot all at the mill, and were sweeping out through the surround- 
ing country. The result may be readily imagined. The most intense excite- 
ment prevailed, and families fled in every direction. Gage reached Lexington, 
and the families in that neighborhood gathered at the blacksmith shop of George 
Donaldson, into which the women and children were thrust, while the men 
began to fell trees and cut logs, for the purpose of hastily building a fort (after- 
ward called Fort Donaldson). Families living in the western part hastily 
resolved to fortify the island in Cedar Lake. There they fled, and began the 
work of constructing the fort. Many very interesting incidents occurred, but, 
within a day or two, the delusion was dispelled. The logs cut for " Fort Don- 
aldson " remained at the spot for many years. More of this interesting event 
will be found in other chapters. 

Industries sprang up at a very early day. Orrin Howard was a chair- 
maker in the northern part, his power being a horse-lathe. It is said that he 
turned out 300 chairs a year. Milton Smith was an early blacksmith, but 
George Donaldson was the first Vulcan in the township. The large stone lying 
near the shop of the latter was hauled there by Samuel Bradford, to be pre- 
pared by Donaldson for the grist-mill that was afterward erected in Springfield 
Township. A small "corn-cracker" was erected at Lexington in a very early 
day. It did not amount to much, and was soon adandoned. Milton Smith 
was also a tool-maker ; could make axes, chisels, adzes, grubbing-hoes, etc. 
A post office was at Howard's house for a number of years. Warren Barney, 
in the northeastern part, manufactured, by means of a horse-lathe, large and 
small spinning-wheels, and other wooden articles. Daniel Waite made tables, 
stands, bedsteads, bureaus, etc. The early settlers in the northern part got their 
whisky at a distillery just across the line in Michigan. The road running north 
and south across the western end of the township was early known as " Smoky 
Row," from the numerous log cabins that were built thereon very early; for on 
winter mornings, when a fire was started in each house, the settlers on the 
opposite side of the prairie were furnished a fine sight — a smoky row. Pretty 
Prairie is said to have received its name from the following circumstance : Sev- 
eral men, just from Ohio, were standing at the residence of "William Miller, on 
the south side of the prairie. Looking northward, they saw a beautiful pict- 
ure. The long expanse of prairie land spread its bosom of green velvet to the 
autumnal sun, and stretched away until terminated by clusters of oak and 
maple, dyed in gorgeous colors by Nature's hand that crowned with beauty 
the higher lands on the north. The strangers were delighted, and one of their 
number asked, " What do you call this ? " " — o — h," replied Mr. Miller, 
"we don't call it anything." "Well," said the stranger, "it's a mighty 
pretty prairie. You might call it Pretty Prairie." The name circulated, 
became popular and is now permanent. " English Prairie " received its name 
from the fact that many of the first to locate there had just come from En- 
gland. People, in speaking of the place, called it by that name. It is also 


permanent. Many of the English retained for a number of years their foreign 
customs. " Old Tommy" Burnell wore knee-breeches and long stockings, as 
did some of the others. Mr. Burnell brought with him from his temporary 
home in Michigan two small sashes, in which were three or four panes of 
glass. These were used in his old log cabin. 

Samuel Burnside, in about the year 1834, erected a saw-mill in the north- 
eastern corner, on Crooked Creek. This mill, with many alterations, numerous 
owners, and stoppages from time to time, has been in operation ever since. At 
times, it has done excellent and extensive work. As nearly as the writer could 
learn, Burnside owned the mill until about the year 1845, when it and the farm 
upon which it stands were sold to Peter Bisel. It is possible that Burnside sold 
to another, and the latter to Bisel. The facts could not be learned. In about 
the year 1846, Bisel erected the grist-mill on the same water-power. This mill 
is yet running, and has done a vast amount of grinding in its day. It is a large 
frame structure, has passed through many hands, and has fed thousands. Bisel, 
in about 1847, placed a stock of goods at the mill, and soon afterward a post 
office was established there. Bisel was quite a wealthy man for that day, and 
put a great deal of money on the mill site to improve it, and render permanent 
the excellent water-power there. The money in many ways was not judiciously 
expended ; at least, Bisel became embarrassed, and, in about 1854, sold the en- 
tire property to Amos Davis ; since then, others have owned it. Goods have 
been sold there the most of the time since. A small town grew up about the 
mills — a very small one. 

In the year 1836, Elisha U. Shepard and Bazaleel Alvord secured the 
services of a surveyor and laid out a village which was named Vistula, on Sec- 
tion 25, on the banks of Wall Lake. The village on paper was a beautiful place, 
and the plat was taken East and exhibited, and several men there were induced 
to buy blocks and corner lots. When they came West to sell their property at 
a handsome profit, or to erect thereon fine buildings, their wrath became fiery 
and volcanic. In short, they had been deceived, as not a house was standing in 
the village, nor ever was. The lake was a nice place, with walls of earth and 
gravel formed by the agency of ice surrounding it. The village on its banks 
was a "• paper village " — nothing more. 

In July, 1836, John Kromer, surveyor, laid out twelve blocks of eight lots 
each, and four blocks of six lots each, on Sections 25 and 30, for Abraham K. 
Brower and Joseph Skerritt, who named the village Lexington. Very soon 
after this, Peter Bisel erected a store building there, and began selling from a 
stock of goods valued at $2,000. The stock was subsequently increased until 
worth about $6,000, at which time the owner enjoyed an extensive and profit- 
able trade. Abraham Brower was at first his clerk, but later his partner. A 
few years after Bisel began, Chancey Adams also opened a store, but his busi- 
ness was not as extensive as that of the former. In 1847, there were seven or 
eight families residing in Lexington. Bisel was in the Crandall storeroom ; 




Adams was in a building opposite. Ira Crandall was the proprietor of a small 
hotel. A shoemaker and a blacksmith were there. In 1848, H. R. Crandall 
bought the Bisel store building and residence, together with three lots. He be- 
gan selling from $3,000 worth of goods, the stock being slowly increased as the 
years went by, and continued until his death in 1870, since which time his 
widow has successfully conducted the business. Bisel was probably the first 
Postmaster ; but, in 1847, Adams was. Since 1848, the Crandalls have had the 
office, except for a short time, when George Donaldson handled the property of 
Uncle Sam. In 1848, Adams sold out to George L. Gale, who erected the 
Long storehouse. Gale continued about five years. Robert Dayton owned 
the property for a while. Other merchants have been H. J. Hall, Andrew 
Davidson, Shope, Scripture, Weidler, Wade and Long & Shut. Wade owns a 
small grocery now, and James Mix is conducting a small broom factory. 
" Brighton " is the name of the post office. Dr. Charles Pritchard was at the 
village early, as were Drs. Patterson and Reynolds. In 1849, Dr. Delos W. 
Rupert located there, remaining until the war broke out, when he became Sur- 
geon of the Thirtieth Infantry Volunteers, but died at Nashville, Tenn., in 
1862. It is said that John Anderson built the first frame house in the town- 
ship in 1833 ; his frame barn was erected the following year. Mr. Wolgamot 
probably built the second frame dwelling. It is said that Hiram Anderson, 
whose birth occurred in the fall of 1830, was the first white child born in the 
township, Samuel Bradford, the present County Clerk, was born in Green- 
field in April, 1832. He claims to be the oldest male person living whose 
birth occurred in La Grange County, Some dispute has arisen over this 
mooted question, and the old ladies should immediately proceed to settle the 
discussion by public announcements from official sources. The first marriage 
in Greenfield was that of Samuel Gawthrop to Ellen D. Wolgamot in the fall 
of 1830. They were married by Samuel Stewart, Esq., who lived just across 
the line in Michigan. Not long afterward, Mrs. Gawthrop died, her death 
being the first. The following persons had passed, in 1880, the age of seventy- 
five years : Mary Blaseus, seventy-six ; Cyrus Fillmore, seventy-eight ; James 
Pollock, seventy-nine ; Jane Scripture, eighty ; John Troyer, seventy-five ; 
Caroline H. Wheeler, seventy-five ; Brewster Barrows, seventy-five ; Laura 
Fillmore, seventy-six ; Ruhama Taylor, eighty-two ; William Wheeler, seventy- 
nine. Benjamin Reed had reached the age of seventy-four years. 

Late in the autumn of 1830, the squatters living near Lexington took 
possession of a vacant log cabin that was standing a short distance southwest 
of the village, fitted it up with desks and seats, and employed Miss Jane M. 
Clark (afterward Mrs. Judge Prentiss) to teach a three-months' term, paying 
her $2 per week, and giving her the doubtfully enjoyable privilege of boarding 
around. This worthy lady, who is yet living, said her enrollment of scholars 
was about sixty. The school is remembered as an excellent one. Miss Clark 
also taught in the same house the succeeding summer. The cabin was thus used 


until about the year 1836 or 1837, when a large frame schoolhouse was erected 
in the village, the greater portion of the expense being borne by members of 
the " Community of Saints." The building was divided into two rooms, and 
was to be occupied by all religious denominations. This school immediately 
became (with the exception of the one at Ontario) the best in the county. 
From 1838 to 1845, the enrollment was over 100. Two teachers were em- 
ployed, or as some say three, and the school was graded. Daniel Graham, 
afterward President of Hillsdale College, was one of the teachers. Good wages 
were paid, and none but good teachers were employed. After 1845, the school 
began to decline in importance. The frame house was used until about 1854, 
when it was displaced by another frame, which was used until the present brick 
was erected about eleven years ago. It is said that George Green was the first 
teacher in the first frame schoolhouse. Other teachers in the same house were 
William Hopkins, Mrs. Catharine McKinney and John Wylie. Hiram Smith, 
of Mongo, taught in the old log house, as did a young minister named Merrell. 
A log schoolhouse, or rather a vacated log dwelling, near the residence of Will-' 
iam Anderson, was devoted to the uses of education as early as 1839. It was 
displaced a few years later by a frame house located at Mr. Anderson's orchard. 
This was used until about twenty -four years ago, when the large district was 
divided, and two houses were built. One of these is yet standing. The other 
was destroyed by fire, and a better one has taken its place. In 1836, a log 
schoolhouse was built near the cemetery, at what was then known as Gale's 
Corners. This was perhaps the first real school building in the township. The 
house was well attended for many years, good teachers being employed. Fami- 
lies living on the southern half of Pretty Prairie sent their children to this 
house. During the winter of 1836-37, Otis Shepardson, Jr., taught a term in 
a vacant dwelling, located near Samuel Parham's orchard, the house having 
been abandoned by a Mr. Switzer. The following families sent to him : Nor- 
ton, Llttlefield, Smith, Miller, Howard, Waite and others. In about the year 
1838, a frame schoolhouse was built at the northern extremity of Pretty Prai- 
rie, the first teacher being Willis R. Jervis. This neighborhood soon had an 
excellent school. After the old house had been used many years, the district 
was divided in spite of bitter opposition on the part of some, and two houses 
were built, both being used until five or six years ago, when each district was 
supplied with a fine brick structure. The township was at first (about the year 
1833) divided into two school districts ; butthe dividing line is not remembered. 
In 1837, another district was added, and a little later still another. School 
was taught as early as 1840 in a vacated dwelling near the residence of Benja- 
min Reed, the house being used a number of years. Finally, in 1845, the 
"Scripture Schoolhouse" was erected. A little later another house was built 
farther east on the same road. The first schoolhouse in the northeastern part 
was built in about the year 1840. It has been succeeded by several others. 
The house two miles west of it was built later. 


In 1840, a great revival was held at the Pretty Prairie Schoolhouse by 
Rev. Messrs. Posey and Lewis L. Allen, ministers of the M. E. denomination. 
A few meetings had been held before, but no excitement was created nor class 
formed. The revival began, Rev. Posey preaching in the morning and Rev. 
Allen in the evening. Sinners were stubborn and defiant, and, for a time, it was 
hard work for the ministers. At last two men living in the neighborhood, who 
had stubbornly resisted the overtures of mercy-, were taken violently sick and 
both died within a few days of each other, one declaring on his death-bed that 
he was going to hell and the other that he expected to reach heaven, blessing 
his family in the moment of parting and advising them to seek salvation. The 
two ministers, Posey and Allen, were present to comfort the dying men with 
the consolations of religion. The circumstances connected with the death of 
the two men produced a profound sensation in the neighborhood, of which the 
ministers immediately took advantage. The result was the most successful re- 
vival ever held in the township. Some sixty were converted and seventy-five 
joined the society that was then organized. Meetings were held in the school- 
house until 1856, when the frame church was built at a cost of about $800. 
Rev. Posey was the first minister in charge, Rev. Enoch Holstock the second, 
Gehiel Hart the third. The church Avas built by subscription, the location 
depending upon the greatest amount subscribed. Those east of the church 
gave the most, and selected the spot where the church now stands. The society 
has not since been as strong as it was at first. Only a portion of the time has 
Sunday school been conducted. 

The Presbyterians commenced building a frame church at Gale's Corners 
in 1837, but did not finish until the following year. Rev. Christopher Cory, 
an excellent man and an earnest Christian, who made himself known for miles 
through the backwoods, organized the society with the following membership : 
Orrin Howard, Aaron Cary, Aaron Thompson, Jonathan Upson, Amasa Nor- 
ton, wife and daughter, Osias Littlefield, Ansel Dickinson, Jacob Vandeventer, 
Samuel Brown and family, and others. Good work was done by the society, 
but it became so weak, in about 1853, that it finally agreed to turn the house 
over to the use of other Christian denominations and have it moved to Lexing- 
ton. This was at last done. The Methodists obtained such a control of it,* 
after a time, that a law-suit resulted; but they lost the judgment, and the 
house is devoted to the same uses as before the suit. The Spiritualists have 
occupied it, under protest of the more orthodox denominations. 

The "Community of Saints," under the leadership of Rev. Samuel Brad- 
ford, held meetings in the schoolhouse at Lexington for a series of years. Mr. 
Bradford was a man of great personal magnetism, with noble ideas of life and 
its duties, and with an incorruptible integrity of purpose that gave a serious 
feature to everything he did. His meetings were always well attended. His 
death, in 1844, ended the life of a truly great man. His society died with 
him. The Congregational Brethren have a small class in the village at pres- 


ent. Some six or eight years ago, the Amish built a small frame church in 
the northwestern part, at a cost of about $900, A small society gathers there 
to worship. 

In about 1850, Elder Jacob Berkey organized a German Baptist society 
in the neighborhood southwest of Lexington. Meetings were held at residences 
and schoolhouses until ten years ago (1872), when a large frame church was 
erected, at a cost of $2,500, the building being completed a year later. The 
society first started with about forty members and was then scattered over a 
territory that has since been divided into four society districts. In 1863, the 
organization comprised about one hundred members. Elder Berkey remained 
Pastor until about 1860, when Elder George Long succeeded him, continuing 
nine years, at the end of which time the society, for a few years, was without a 
regular Elder, though Rev. Peter Long was in charge. Elder David M. Truby 
assumed the pastorate in 1874, remaining until 1880. when the present min- 
ister. Elder Peter Long, succeeded him. The present membership is about 144. 
A Sunday school was conducted three years, beginning some five years ago. 
Short-lived societies of other religious denominations have been organized in 
the township. 

There are many Spiritualists in Greenfield. The subject was first devel- 
oped, in about 1850, by the celebrated Fox sisters, of near Rochester, N. Y., 
and others, who announced to the world that the spirits of the departed could 
be communicated with through "mediums." The success of their operations 
soon became known in Greenfield, and many were convinced of the truth of 
their pretensions. Gossip was indulged in, until finally a medium from abroad 
came into the neighborhood and gave a public exhibition of the truth of his 
opinions. Many were converted to the new faith and, although no written creed 
was adopted, yet a society was partially formed, and "circles" met regularly 
at residences and schoolhouses. Several interesting "mediums" were soon 
discovered in the neighborhood. Mrs. (Barr) Hopkins proved to be a "divin- 
ing medium." Others were "rapping" or "writing" or "healing mediums." 
The Barrs, the Hopkinses, the Gillums, the Herns and others were prominent in 
the new organization. They finally began to meet in the church at Lexington, 
\7hich had been intended for any religious denomination; but they met consid- 
erable opposition, though they were successful in having their right to the 
church established. They then held rousing meetings in the church, securing 
persons from abroad well qualified to present their faith, practically and theo- 
retically, to large audiences. Many converts were thus gained. It is only 
within the last few years that the early interest has declined. 





by r. h. rerick. 

Newbury Township— First Election and Officers— Early Physical Feat- 
ures, Lakes, Indians, Etc.— The First Settler and His Successors- 
Mills AND Towns— Forest Customs — The Amish— Their Customs, 
Churches, Schools, Etc — General Development, 

THE township received its name, not in honor of any personage, but to 
distinguish it from the older town of Middlebury, in Elkhart County, 
which it adjoins. This was the borough, and Newbury it has remained. The 
name was given at the first town meeting. The township was a part of Lima, 
and was separated and given a distinct organization in 1837. On April 3, of 
this year, the settlers held their first election, at the house of Truman Wilkin- 
son. It was difficult to get together a good show of voters, and the canvassing 
was as thorough as at some modern elections. If there was any law then re- 
quiring a long residence in the township, it was probably accidentally forgotten 
that day. The workmen on the Shipshewana Mills were taken to the polls, 
whether or no. By this means a poll-book of thirteen voters was made. There 
were just about enough oflSces to go around, and the list contains the 
names of most of the adult male settlers. Daniel H. Keasy and Elijah West 
acted as Clerks ; Amos Davis and James Cotton, Judges ; and Truman Wilkin- 
son, Inspector. When their laborious duties had been performed, it was found 
that the following were the first officers : Amos Davis, Justice ; Willard Cot- 
ton, Constable; Elijah West, Inspector; Esick Green, Supervisor; George Lot- 
terer and Elijah West, Overseers of Poor; Franklin Goodenough and George 
Hilt, Road Viewers. The vote was unanimous. The first official act of the 
new Justice was to solemnize a marriage between Esick Green and Miss 
Hackett, a member of the Wilkinson family. It was not the officer's fault, 
but, for some lack of affinity, the newly-married couple soon separated. 

The earliest comers sought two places mainly — the beautiful country about 
Shipshewana Lake, in the north, and the forks of the Little Elkhart River in 
the southwest. The east part of the township was in great part covered by 
marshes, and was not so desirable. The country was densely wooded, as a gen- 
eral thing, but there were large tracts of openings. An idea, however, pre- 
vailed among many of the pioneers, who were largely of Southern birth, that 
the openings were unhealthful, and the woods were consequently in favor. 
There were also marsh lands along the little streams which supplied the Little 
Elkhart, which flows, in two branches, through the southwest corner, A 
diagonal line through the township, from northwest to southeast, is about the 
position of the ridge which divides the drainage of the Pigeon River from that 
of the Elkhart. Cass Lake,' about twenty acres in extent, on the northern 
line, and Hood's, a small body in the east, are drained into the Elkhart, while 


the beautiful Shipshewana, one of the largest lakes in the county, and Cotton 
Lake, a smaller one, have their outlet in Shipshewana Creek. Cotton, 
Hood and Cass Lakes commemorate the names of the earliest settlers near 
them, and Shipshewana, the Pottawatomie chieftain, whose is said to be buried 
somewhere on the banks of the lake. A lady, now deceased, claimed to know 
the place of his grave, but the secret has been lost with her death. The old 
chief died some time prior to the settlement. His tribe inhabited the township, 
and their deeply cut trails ran through the woods, taking the best courses, and 
never missing the beaver dams, in every direction, so that the settlers had to 
blaze their road in order not to wander off on the wrong track. The red men 
hunted amicably with the whites, and would come back even after their re- 
moval to exchange venison and cranberries for the pioneers' extra potatoes 
and flour. Game was plentiful — deer and turkeys and bears. Bees were es- 
pecially numerous, and one hunter cut as many as sixteen nests in one day. 
The earliest settlers came to the forks of the Little Elkhart, and this was also 
the starting point of the second settlement by the German people, who now 
almost entirely occupy the township. The first comers were the Woodbridges, 
who "squatted" in Section 19, about 1831. This was before the land was 
for sale, and there is no record of their names or later history. They soon 
moved away, and their cabin was old and deserted when the later settlers 
moved in. The land was not open to entry until much later, and the first cer- 
tificate issued was to Obadiah Lawrence, dated July 17, 1835. 

In the north, a Mr. Andrews and Elijah West came in in 1834, and the 
next year built a dam and race and saw-mill on Shipshewana Creek, near the 
center of Section 3. Mr. Andrews died August 24, 1835, the first death 
among the pioneers. His son, Jarius Andrews, lived in the township until his 
decease in 1879. West, the partner, soon moved West. This mill was in oper- 
ation several years, and the damming up of the waters was thought to be the 
cause of much illness in early times, on account of its overflowing the lake. 
The dam was finally torn down, and the mill went to pieces. A log house in a 
grove near by, which forms a contrast with the fine residences in the vicinity, 
probably contains some of the logs of these old buildings. A little later, a 
number of settlers entered their lands. In 1836, Amos Davis, one of the most 
prominent men in the early history of the county, came to the Woodbridge 
place. He had already entered land, in 1835, in Section 19. He built the 
second saw-mill in the township on the river here. 

Esick Green, who remained about twenty years, and Truman Wilkinson, 
who lived here until his death in 1857, brothers-in-law, settled about 1836. 
Hiram Wilkinson settled at the same time, but soon left. Charles Barron was 
another pioneer. Wilkinson was the neighborhood poet and lampooner in the 
early days. Some of his efi"usions are still remembered, and we are able to 
give part of one, occasioned by the tragical girdling of an oak in front of John 
Keightley's house, against Mr. K.'s wishes. The oak sings: 


" Here once I stood a handsome oak, 
This is the first I ever spoke. 
My kindred oaks shall live instead, 
While I am numbered with the dead. 
Here once I stood, a noble tree, 
Till Sam and Charlie girdled me." 

Another couplet was of an epitaph nature : 

" The devil, with old snaps and snarls. 
Dragged off to h — 1 poor Sam and Charles." 

Franklin J. Goodenough entered land in Section 7, and built the first 
frame barn in the township. Almon Lawrence, who had come to Van Buren 
in 1830, and Alexander W. Poynter, of Delaware, Alexander Berry, of Ohio, 
and his sons — Samuel, Conrad and Doomide — were early settlers in the neigh- 
borhood of the site of the Dunkard Church. Other early settlers were Garrett 
and Griffith Shrake, Warren Stiles, James Cotton, a carpenter, who gave his 
name to Cotton Lake, and Samuel Hood, who is similarly honored. Joseph 
Keasy, later of St. Joseph County, Ind., came, in 1836, from Fulton 
County, Ohio. It was on his farm, at the house of Joseph Nelson, that the 
first church was organized in the fall of 1837. by a Methodist evangelist, who 
used to go about on foot among the settlers, doing good. This pioneer preacher 
had the simple name of Brown, but from his residence received the euphonious 
title of " Bald Hill " Brown. He went from here to a more arduous field — to 
Texas. Joseph Nelson was the class-leader of this little organization, which 
had about nine members at starting. James Latta, of the Haw Patch, and 
Christopher Cory, were among the early preachers. In those days, families 
would walk three or four miles for a sermon, and find their way home by the 
light of a clapboard torch. 

In February, 1837, George Lotterer took possession of land, including 
that owned at present by Horatio Halbert, on Shipshewana Lake, where he 
laid out a village called Georgetown, which never grew beyond the paper. Mr. 
Lotterer was then the richest man in Newbury, and had just previously owned 
the plat of Ontario. He remained in the township until about eight years 
since, when he removed to Fort Scott, Kan. 

John Keightly and Peter N. Keightly moved upon their land near Ship- 
shewana Lake in the fall of 1836. The latter soon moved into Van Buren, 
but the former is still an honored citizen of this township. Mr. K. came from 
England, in 1828, to Tompkins County, N. Y., married Miss M. A. Winter in 
1830, and started for Indiana in November, 1836. The journey was a sample 
of that which the patient pioneer went through — a day's journey eight or ten 
miles, deep mud in what were called the roads, no bridges but crossways of logs, 
and these sometimes almost washed away by floods. Soon after Mr. Keightly 
had built a house, it was burned, probably by an incendiary, and some $1,500 
in money, lying in the house, was never seen again by the owner. Such was 
life in the good old days, full of hardship and disappointment, in great contrast 


with the comfort of the present. A schoolhouse, in which religious services 
were held, was built on the northeast corner of Mr. K.'s land, where a grave- 
yard is situated. Methodist meetings were also held at his residence, where 
among other attendants were George and Melicent Winter, brothers-in-law of 
the Keightlys, who came in with them from Tompkins County, N. Y., in 1836. 
George Winter was born in Lincolnshire, England, and died in Newbury in 
1868. His wife had died in 1854. His son, Wrinch Winter, who was only 
eight years old on moving here, now occupies a finely situated residence on the 
old homestead, in view of Shipshewana Lake. Among other early settlers, 
Peter Schermerhorn entered land in Section 5, and died north of the Yoder 
settlement. In 1845, Francis Lampman, of Oswego County, N. Y., settled in 
northwest Newbury. He remained upon the farm until 1864, when he 
removed to Lima, where he was still living in 1881, at the age of eighty-three. 
Among the later comers in the northeast is Elias Wight, who came from Ohio 
in 1854, and lives upon Section 3. Mr. Wight was elected County Commis- 
sioner in 1879. 

The trading of the early days was done mostly at White Pigeon and Mid- 
dlebury. Some hauling was done from more distant points. In 1837, Amos 
Davis brought through flour and goods from Michigan City to Lima with five 
yokes of oxen. La Grange, then, was unborn, and the country to Middlebury 
was almost impassable, except on foot. On the White Pigeon trail there were 
but two houses. In 1833, a road was run through from Lima to Goshen by John 
Kromer, and this was the only one until 1836, when a party went through the 
township eastward, running the Baubaga road to the future county seat. Amos 
Davis, about 1840, surveyed three roads — the Middlebury and Haw Patch, 
which follows the course of the main branch of the Little Elkhart, the Middle- 
bury road to intersect the Goshen road, and the White Pigeon and Ligonier road. 

The first schoolhouse was put up on the farm of Joseph Keasy, on Section 
19. The house was of unsquared logs, with a low roof, and densely-shaded in 
a little opening in the forest. The first teacher was Miss Mary Pomeroy. The 
teachers were not heavily paid in the early days. The ladies would get as 
low as $1.25 and up to $2 a week in the summer schools. There was quite a 
discussion at first about how long school should be kept. That it should be 
nine hours a day was agreed, but some were of the opinion and some not, that 
for the munificent wages school should be taught six days in the week. The 
second schoolhouse was a log one, on Section 20, built in 1840, and the third 
on Section 9, about 1842. 

Besides the early preaching already mentioned, a Presbyterian society met 
at Forest Grove, southwest of Davis' mill, and the United Brethren and Free- 
Will Baptists had meetings occasionally in various places. All these small 
societies worked together for the common good. At present the Methodist 
meeting place is Shipshewana Schoolhouse, included in the Middlebury Circuit, 
now under charge of Rev. John T. Blakemore. 

^2/L^ ^ 0^^^ 



In 1838, Newbury experienced its share of the ague and bilious fever. 
Like the rain of that spring, it fell on all alike, and like the drought of the 
fall it had no intermission. Drs. Latta, of Goshen, and Elliott, of Middlebury, 
would call about twice a week upon the unfortunate shakers. There was quite 
a mortality among the young on account of the fever. 

The hopes of the settlers were raised to a considerable height by the talk 
in an early day of the Buffalo & Mississippi Railroad, and deeply sunk by its 
failure. The road was surveyed through the northern part of the township. 
The same experience was repeated by a preliminary survey of the Baltimore & 
Ohio road in later years. 

In 1839, Amos Davis was chosen an Associate Judge for the county, and 
held the position until the abolition of the office, sitting on the bench with 
Judges Hobbs and Spaulding. 

Mr. Davis was born in Loudon County, Va., in 1797. When yet a boy, 
he went to Ohio, where his parents settled in Fairfield County. He was a man 
of ability and energy. Mr. Davis represented La Grange and Elkhart Counties 
in the Legislature in 1862-64, and was active on the side of the war party in 
the struggle between Gov. Morton and the majority of the Legislature. He 
removed to Greenfield Mills, and died October 5, 1867, from the effects of an 
injury received on his seventieth birthday. His son, Hezekiah Davis, was 
eleven years of age when he first saw Newbury, and has ever since remained 
here. He has served the county as Commissioner for thirteen years, beginning 
in 1853. In 1848, he moved to his present commodious residence in Section 2, 
which is a portion of his farm. Newbury has always been remarkable for its 
quietness and freedom from crime. Of course, there has been a law-suit now 
and then, but, as a rule, she furnishes little litigation. The first law-suit in the 
township was before Justice Davis, and between Sylvanus Lamb and Charles 
Hascall over a difficulty in the division of land. This called in lawyers — 
Mitchell, of Constantine, and Chamberlain, of Goshen. No causes celehres have 
come from Newbury since that time. Especially since the Amish and other 
German sects have taken up the most of the township has everything been 
peaceful. There was once a case of horse-thieving which caused considerable 
sensation. Three horses were stolen in 1855, or thereabouts, and taken to 
Pennsylvania, whence the owner received them after expending much more 
than their value in the search. 

As far as the records show, the following is a list of the Justices of New- 
bury : Amos Davis, 1837-42 ; Andrew Ashbaugh, 1842-47 ; Alexander W. 
Poynter, 1845-50 ; Perley R. Cady, 1852-57 ; John Butt, 1859-71 ; Ben- 
jamin F. Lieb, 1856-60 ; Oliver Lampman, 1859-67 ; Jacob Hines, 1863-69 ; 
H. J. Vandorsten, 1869-73 ; William Wiler, 1873-75 ; Horatio Halbert, 1875- 
84 ; Michael Hoff, 1880-84. At the census of 1880, there were found to be 
the following named persons, residents of the township, who were over seventy- 
five years of age : Horatio Halbert, seventy-seven ; George Miller, eighty- 


five ; Joel Yoder, eighty ; Fannie Miller, eighty-three ; Frances Walter, 
eighty- four. 

In 1844, an event of great importance was the first settlement of mem- 
bers of the Amish Church, in the southwest portion of the township. Daniel 
and Joseph Miller came on horseback to Davis' place, on a prospecting tour, 
out two months from Somerset County, Penn. They stopped here and bought 
farms, Daniel Miller taking the old Woodbridge place. Soon after, Christian 
Bontrager and Joseph Bontrager bought farms in Sections 19 and 20. This 
was the beginning of an inflow of Germans from Pennsylvania, at first, and 
later from Holmes County, Ohio. Emanuel Miller, who bought land in Sec- 
tion 29, and Philip Weirick were also among the earliest settlers. John C. 
Yoder, familiarly called the doctor, on account of his skill in healing some of 
the human ills, came in November, 1844, from Somerset County, where he was 
born in 1821. He still resides upon his farm near the Moses Kaufman mill- 
race (1849), on the Little Elkhart, and is a patriarch among the original Amish. 
This branch of the church, which is distinguished by a strict observance of all 
the old customs, has a large membership among the Germans, who now occupy 
almost the whole of Newbury. There are three districts of the old school in 
the township, the southern one having, in 1881, 161 members, the western 
100, and the northern, including part of Van Buren, about one hundred and 
twenty. Each district has its Bishop and two ministers. The Bishop alone 
can perform the rites of baptism and marriage. At present this position is 
held by Dr. Yoder and David Kaufman. The peculiar characteristic of the 
church is a literal observance of every injunction of the Scriptures, as they 
understand them. There are no meeting-houses, but they meet at the homes 
of the members ; no written creed is used by the church ; the apostolic rite of 
feet- washing is observed at the meetings. But the most obvious characteristic 
is that no ornament of any kind is tolerated on the person, nor in the way of 
paint or plaster in the houses, nor any brilliant coloring about the buildings. 
The natuBal grace and beauty of the person is altogether unthought of, or only 
considered as a snare of the evil one. As no conformity to the world is al- 
lowed, something like a German peasant costume is still used, and as buttons 
are under the ban, hooks and eyes supply the necessary fastenings. Lightning 
rods were for some time forbidden. As for literature, there is nothing in 
much favor but the sacred Scriptures. The Amish seem to conform their 
social lives especially to Paul's instructions to the Corinthians, and renounce 
the world, even to the extent of casting out from among themselves all who 
have worldly failings. In avoiding the world, politics, of course, is somewhat 
neglected, but more formerly than of late. German is also spoken continually 
in their home life, and this is another "tie," and distinction from the "world." 
A marked degree of morality pervades this people. The children are edu- 
cated to read and write well, but higher studies are considered useless. Finan- 
cially they are prudent, frugal and -successful, and allow none of their mem- 


hers to depend upon the county for support. Besides this home charity, for- 
eign charities are well contributed to. In many of these particulars, the other 
German societies agree with the Old Amish. There are four branches of the 
church in this township. The other leading one is the New Amish, which is 
about twenty-five years old, and has about two hundred members. It has but 
one meeting-place, a frame church, erected in 1863, at the Forks, which cost 
some $600, and seats 500 persons. In 1881, Jonas Troyer was the Bishop, 
with four subordinate preachers — Emanual Hostettler, Seth Troyer, Christian 
S. Plank and Christian Miller. The new church believes in going into the 
water for baptism, while the old adheres to sprinkling on dry land. There is 
also no rule in regard to clothing, and more freedom in customs. The Men- 
nouite Church resembles the Amish, being, in fact, the original from which the 
Amish sprang, and a union between them is not unlikely. The Mennonitos 
have a church upon the Baubaga road, at Lake Shore, which was erected in 
the fall of 1874. 

The German Baptist Church, or "Dunkers," has a large following in 
this township. The earliest efforts of the church were in 1854, when meetings 
were begun in the Poynter Schoolhouse. In 1857, the church was partly or- 
ganized, and Samuel Doney and Samuel Lupoid appointed deacons. Samuel 
Lupoid has remained one of the ministers and elders till the present. David 
Evans and Benjamin Leer have also served as ministers. At the present time, 
David M. Truby is elder of the district, including Newbury, and Benjamin 
Leer minister of the Shipshewana Church. On Christmas, 1874, this society 
dedicated a frame church, on the land of Samuel Lupoid, which is valued at 
^700. Regular meetings are held here fortnightly, and a Sunday school at 
the Marsh Schoolhouse. The membership of the church is about ninety. 

The post oflSce of Pashan was established in 1844, and was kept at 
the house of Amos Davis until his removal, when it was discontinued. In 
1872, it was re-established at a small settlement north of the Baubaga road, 
near the center of the township. This little "burg," in 1881, is in possession 
of one business house, a store, kept by Harmon Stutsman, who is also Deputy 
Postmaster ; the chief in this department is Dr. Myers, the resident physicisvi. 
These, with the smithy, make up the business part of the settlement. In 1881, 
a post office was established at the neighborhood called Lake Shore, near Hood 
Lake, and the official name of the post office is Shore. It, as well as Pashan 
and Emma, lies on the mail route between Goshen and La Grange. In 1881, 
the neighborhood contained about twelve families. Dr. W. H. Shrock, who 
has been here four years in the practice of medicine, holds the position of 
Postmaster. The omnipresent blacksmith shops are owned by Benedict Miller 
and Jacob Lupoid. Amos Walters, who has been a resident for many years, 
owns a steam saw-mill which was built here about 1870, by Charles and Mon- 
roe Atwater, and does an extensive business in lumbering. A schoolhouse and 
the Mennonite Church are on the shore of the lake. In the southeast corner of 


the township is the settlement and post office, now called Emma ; formerly the 
place was known as Eden Mills, but went down under that title. The saw- 
mill here is within Newbury, and is owned by Joseph Schrock. Jacob and 
Andrew Hostettler are the proprietors of a store, and the former attends to the 
United States mail. 



MiLFORD Township— Long List or Pioneers— Conjectures as to the First 
Settler— First Township Election— A Backwoods Burial— Hunting Ex- 
periences— The Regulators— The L'ntjerground Railroad— Mud Cor- 
ners AND South Milford— The Educator and the Moralist— Manufact- 
uring Interests. 

THE greater portion of the surface of Milford Township is extremely ir- 
regular and billowy ; and to this may be traced the fact that the earliest 
settlers in the county passed on to land that could be subjected to cultivation 
much easier, and that would furnish a more bountiful crop for such labor. 
While it is mainly true that the greater number of early settlers in the northern 
tier of townships came from the older settled locality in Southern Michigan, it is 
also true that the greater number of those in the southern tier first came to Fort 
Wayne, and thence up the Fort Wayne and Lima road, along which they en- 
tered their land. During the years 1836, 1837 and 1838, a great rush was 
made into Milford, the greater number of the following men locating in the 
township at that period : J. W. Austin, David Ackerman, S. A. Bartlett, 
John Barry, Jacob Butts, Charles Cope, Jared Cook, Arba Crane, Edmund 
Clark, Perry Case, Zopher Case (lived in Johnson), William Cochran, Harrison 
Dues, Brinkley Davis, Nelson Earl, William Fitch, Cornelius Gardiner, Stiles 
Goodsell, Isaac Holly, John C. Lonsbury, Luther Nesbit, John Nevil, Stephen 
D. Palmer, Gary P. Newman, William Nevil, Samuel Perkins, Enoch Perkins, 
Jacob Perkins, Amos Reynolds, Enos Randall, Henry Randall, Erastus Stur- 
gis, Jacob Sturgis, Edward Shehan, Lyman Sherwood, John Searls and Charles 
Turner. Some of these men never lived in the township, simply owning the 
land, and paying tax on the same, and selling out at a small profit at an early 
day. Several of the men came in with grown-up families of boys, who soon 
made homes for themselves, and who are yet living to recount their lives of pri- 
vation while the township was yet fresh from the hand of nature. 

The first settler in the township Avas probably Jacob Butts, although the 
year of his arrival is not known. It was likely as early as 1834, and perhaps 1833, 
as he was known to have been in the township during the spring of 1835. There 
are some doubts, however, about his being the first settler, as Richard Rice, Will- 
iam Fitch and one or two others were living in the township during the spring 
of 1835, and might have been in a year or two before. The facts in the case 

^^^"^^/^^ -^/^c^u^ 

M/LfORO m 


cannot be learned with certainty ; but it is probable that the three men men- 
tioned (Jacob Butts, Richard Rice and William Fitch) came to the township 
some time during the year 1834. These conjectures will have to answer until 
some one is found who can satisfactorily unravel the tangle. It is said that a 
man named Bailey came in with Mr> Fitch, locating near him for a time ; but 
afterward leaving for some other place. Mr. Butts was a German, and re- 
mained^in the township until the gold excitement broke out in California, when 

e joined the tide "of emigration westward. His daughter Caroline was mar- 
ried to George Thompson, of Springfield Township, in 1835, by Rev. T. B. 
Conley, the]^marriage, so far as known, being the first in the township. Rich- 

rd Rice located on Section 3, where he remained but a short time. Fitch and 
Bailey established themselves in the southern part. The first white child born 
was a daughter of Mrs. Fitch, but the infant was feeble and soon died. This 
was probably the first death. 

During the summer of 1837, a number of citizens of the township peti- 
tioned the County Commissioners to set apart Township 36 north, Range 11 
east of the Second Principal Meridian, and constitute the same a separate town- 
ship. ,,^In the petition it was suggested that the township be called Milford. In 
accordance with this petition, the Commissioners, in September of the same 
yearj'ordered the creation of the township Milford, and the first election to be 
held at the residence of Samuel Avis, who was probably appointed Inspector. 
Charles Turner was elected Justice of the Peace, and Col. William Cochran 
Road Supervisor. The names of the other ofiicers elected are not remembered. 
Milford was'at first a part of Greenfield Township, but, after August, 1834, 
and prior to its separate organization as stated above, it was attached to Spring- 
field for election purposes. At this early day, the three officers of greatest use 
were Justice, Constable and Pathmaster. There were no roads save winding 
trails through the woods, and about the first thing the early settlers were called 
upon to do was to assemble and place some new highway in passable condition. 
Much of the early tax collected was devoted to the expense of constructing 
roads. This gave great dignity to the name of Supervisor. Cases of assault 
and battery were almost every day occurrences. It is amusing to examine the 
docket of some early Justice of the Peace, and notice the fines that were 
imposed for a violation of the rights of personal security. At almost every 
rolling or raising, a bout at fisticuffs took place, resulting in blue eyes and bloody 
noses, and the subsequent fine for assault. Everybody drank whisky, not 
necessarily to excess, but simply to realize the exhilarating effects. It was 
taken'to cool in hot weather, and to warm in cold ; to drown sorrow and assuage 
the pain of privation ; to assist digestion and strengthen the weak. Mothers 
drank it|^to[^gain strength to endure ; children were given it to make them 
healthy and strong ; all took it because it was regarded as a panacea for all 
human disorders, and one of the necessaries of life. As all, at times, were 
under its influence, those of quarrelsome disposition were often engaged in 


broils and fights ; and then the servants of the law were required to do their 
duty. The Justice and the Constable were important personages then. And 
what a noise the early pettifoggers made ! How profound was their exposition 
of the fundamental principles of law ! And then what eloquence ! Then it was 
that every boy went home resolved in his heart to be a pettifogger. Nothing 
short of that would satiate his inordinate pride and ambition. 

The early settlers were compelled to endure many hardships unknown to 
the generations of to-day. Stores and mills were far distant, not only in 
miles, but from the fact that distances then, on account of the bottomless roads, 
were practically double what they are at present. Many had no team, some 
had oxen, and a few had horses. A good grist then was a bagful, and a few 
acres were a large field. Families lived on pork, corn bread and potatoes. 
Other articles were delicacies. Some families were extremely destitute. The 
tax duplicates at the county seat are filled with such expressions as " Too poor 
to pay," or " Gone away," or " Tax paid by Mr. So-and-so." This was true 
even when the tax amounted to but 50 cents. It is related that when Nathan 
Holly's second wife died, her own son John laid her out, and made the rude 
coflSn with his own hands. James Cochran was called upon for assistance at 
the burial. He asked Evan Wright to accompany him. These two boys and 
John Holly were the only ones present at the interment of this pioneer mother. 
The poor woman had at last found rest in the embrace of death, and over her 
lonely grave the robin and the wren chirped their requiem of triumph — a dirge 
of rest to her soul. She was buried in the southern part of the township. 

Of course the woods, in early years, were filled with wild game. Deer in 
small herds were every-day sights, and those who were accustomed to the use of 
the rifle, and knew anything of the habits of these animals, found no difficulty 
in killing as many as they desired. Venison was a common article of food on 
the pioneer tables. Wild turkeys were very numerous, and, it is said, were 
often so fat that when they were shot to the ground from the tops of high trees, 
the skin upon their backs burst open like a ripe pod. This is vouched for by 
more than one old settler. Wolves were numerous and troublesome. They 
often found their way into sheep-folds at night and destroyed many or all of 
the flock. Then it was that the old settler breathed maledictions of revenge 
toward the marauder. On one occasion, Henry Randall fired into a pack of 
these ferocious animals, and at one lucky shot killed three. Bears were some- 
times seen, but only rarely. About thirty-five years ago, a number of men 
with dogs, started a bear from some swamp in Noble County, and chased it into 
Milford Township. Isaac Carpenter, who was hunting in the woods, encoun- 
tered the animal and shot it. It is said that Ed Dyer in one day killed five 
deer. Those who were familiar with the habits of these animals always 
endeavored to shoot the buck or leader of the herd, as in that case the others 
would stop, thus giving the hunter time to reload. It was often the case that, 
if the hunt was properly managed, the entire herd fell before the rifle of the 


hunter. Mi not Goodsell tells that, to the best of his knowledge, he on one 
occasion killed three deer at one shot. The circumstances were about as fol- 
lows : 

One morning, late in autumn, after a heavy snow of the previous 
night, Mr. Goodsell put his horses to the sled and started out to hunt deer, 
knowing that it would be an excellent time. He drove several miles in a 
southerly direction, and, while crossing a road, saw three deer bound across the 
track in front of him. He got a good shot at one, but for some reason missed 
it. He continued to drive on through the woods, until finally he discovered 
the tracks of four deer, and in a few minutes later saw them coming back, 
whereupon he concealed himself and shot at one of the herd, but again missed, 
much to his chagrin. The one shot at seemed to separate from the rest, as the 
other three started rapidly in the direction of Mr. Dryer's, and soon entered a 
dense brushy marsh. Mr. Goodsell hitched his team and crept into the marsh, 
watching cautiously for another shot. At last he saw one of the deer just over 
the ridge of a snow bank. He made proper calculations and fired through the 
upper edge of the drift, expecting to strike the deer in a vital spot, but again 
he was doomed to disappointment, as the three deer dashed out and scampered 
away through the snow. He followed them some distance, and noticed that one 
of them was wounded, as blood drops could be seen on the snow. At last he 
saw them some distance ahead. One was pawing up the snow, and a minute 
later it lay down, and the others came back and also lay down near it. Mr. 
Goodsell crept around so as to get a large log (which was rendered quite high 
by the foot and a half of snow on it) between himself and the animals, and 
then succeeded in creeping through the sound-deadening snow to within ten 
yards of the prostrate animals. After looking a moment, he crept back a few 
paces, and, quickly cocking his gun, rose suddenly to his feet. The animals 
leaped up like a flash, but the rifle of the hunter rang out on the morning air, 
and the nearest deer (the wounded one) fell dead in the snow, while the other 
two bounded off at full speed. He bled the dead animal and then started after 
the others, and then noticed for the first time that one of the latter was bleed- 
ing. Within a quarter of a mile it was found dying in the snow. It was bled, 
and the hunter started after the other, when to his astonishment it was found 
also to be bleeding. At last he found it badly wounded, in a little clump of 
bushes, and dispatched it with his knife. All three deer had undoubtedly been 
struck by the same bullet. The first one had five bullet holes in its hide, three 
of which had been made before it was last wounded ; but at all events the last shot 
brought it down. The other two were undoubtedly mortally wounded by the 
last shot. The three dead animals were loaded on the sled and taken home. It 
is related that Henry Randall, one day, saw a large bear in an oak tree eating 
acorns, whereupon he advanced, fired, and brought it dead to the ground. 
Col. William Cochran brought with him from Marion County, Ohio, three 
well-trained Siberian bloodhounds. They were savage animals and had to be 


watched. One day they were heard off in the woods baying at some animal 
they had brought to a stand, whereupon one or more of the boys went out 
with his gun to see what was the matter. He found that the dogs had driven 
a catamount into the top of a large perpendicular branch of a slanting tree, 
and one of the dogs had succeeded in reaching the foot of the branch, and 
was standing baying on the slanting trunk, while the others were on the ground 
twenty feet underneath. At the approach of the boy, and before he could get 
a shot, the catamount leaped to the ground, breaking its fall on a small ash 
tree beneath, and, running a short distance, ran up a very high tree and lay 
down lengthwise on a branch at the extreme top. As it leaped from the slant- 
ing tree, the dog on the trunk at the foot of the branch leaped after it, and 
was badly hurt by the fall. The boy hurried up, and, taking aim at the cata- 
mount, fired, and the animal, with a convulsive spring, fell the whole distance 
to the ground, probably dying before it struck. Many other incidents of a 
similar nature might be related if space permitted. 

To Milford belongs the credit of organizing the first company of Regulators 
in accordance with an act of the State Legislature, approved in 1852. On the 
12th of September, 1856, the following men and others assembled at the Bul- 
lock Schoolhouse to effect an organization, and devise some means to bring 
horse-thieves, counterfeiters and other criminals to punishment : J. L. Bul- 
lock, Alanson Hill, Orrin Fuller, Zopher Case, George W. James, A. P. Case, 
Jacob Hill, William Hill, Ebenezer Hill, Isaac Carpenter, Charles Cochran, 
Phillip Helmer, Stephen Shearman and John Shearman. Mr. Bullock was 
chosen President, Alanson Hill, Vice President, and Orrin Fuller, Secretary. 
The latter, and perhaps others, was appointed to draft a constitution, which 
was done, it being presented and adopted on the 20th of September, 1856. 
This company did very effective service in this and adjoining counties. 

Milford was the home of Benjamin B. Waterhouse, a native of Connecti- 
cut, though reared in Oswego County, N. Y. He was one of the noblest and 
kindest-hearted men that ever lived. From his earliest years, his soul shrank 
in repugnance from that so-called " divine institution," known as human slavery. 
His conscience cried out against the wrong, and, at last, led him into promi- 
nent connection with a well-traveled line of Underground Railroad. He lost no 
opportunity to assist runaway slaves on their way to Canada, and his house 
at last became a noted harbor, and was known to colored people far down in 
the Southern States.' The first noted station south of his house was at the 
Whitfords, in Allen Township, Noble County, while the first one north was at 
Orland, and the second at the residence of John Waterhouse, twelve miles south 
of Coldwater, Mich. A volume might be employed in which to tell all the 
incidents connected with the career of Mr. Waterhouse as an Underground Rail- 
road agent. He had a covered buggy, or carriage, in which the slaves were 
placed, when not too numerous (in such case a wagon was used) and a blanket 
thrown over the heads of the blacks), and conveyed to Orland, and there de- 

^Aa/i^ "^(T-cyA/iM^ 



livered to a wagon-maker named Clark, or to Mr. Barry and one or two other 
trusty men ; hence they were taken on to the house of John Waterhouse and 
other places north. Some hypercritical persons have said that his carriage 
stunk terribly of the negroes who rode in it. It is safe to say that Mr. Wate^ 
house helped 100 runaway slaves to escape. His neighbors did not molest 
him, though some were much opposed to what he was doing. It is said that 
David Randall went out one morning with his hoe on his shoulder to dig 
potatoes. He had scarcely begun, when a gigantic negro came swiftly from 
the woods a short distance away, and approached him. Mr. Randall saw in- 
stantly, from the weary appearance, torn clothing, haggard face, and indis- 
pensable bundle of clothing of the colored man, that he was a fugitive slave. 
Thinking to try the fellow a little, Mr. Randall called out, "Look here! you 
are running away from your master. You turn right around and start back 
for the South, or I'll report you." It was no fun for the desperate colored 
man, for he thought Mr. Randall was in earnest. He looked fiercely at the 
settler for an instant, and then coolly laid down his stick and bundle, took off 
his ragged coat and placed it on the ground, doubled up a pair of fists that 
looked like sledge-hammers, and then started for the settler, exclaiming, 
" Massa, ye'd better got yerself ready ; I'se a comin'," The settler, in alarm, 
instantly protested that he was only fooling ; and the fugitive desisted and went 
slowly back and put on his coat. Mr. Randall directed him on his way, and 
the determined fellow was soon out of sight. 

After the enactment of the fugitive slave law, in 1852, Mr. Waterhouse 
worked harder than ever for the slaves. Early one morning, during the autumn 
of 1853, Augustus Whitford, of Noble County, brought five or six fugitive 
colored men in a wagon to the residence of Mr. Waterhouse. As they were to 
be taken on to Orland by Mr. Waterhouse without delay, Mrs. Waterhouse and 
daughters hurriedly prepared them a substantial breakfast. This they dis- 
patched as only travelers know how, and soon they were again on their way, 
reaching Orland in a few hours. At this point the whole party, including 
Messrs. Clark, Barry and others, of Orland, were seen by men who reported 
the violation of the law to Dr. Marsh, a Deputy United States Marshal resid- 
ing near there. The slaves were taken on to Canada by the Abolitionists 
without molestation. The owners of the slaves became aware of how the latter 
escaped, and learned the names of Mr. Waterhouse and those at Orland who 
had assisted him. They therefore, in the fall of 1854, had these men arraigned 
before the United States Circuit Court at Indianapolis for a violation of the 
fugitive slave law, Mr. Cyrus Fillmore, brother of ex-President Fillmore, ap- 
pearing as one of the prosecuting witnesses. Mr. Waterhouse was found guilty, 
and sentenced to pay a fine of $50 and to be imprisoned for twenty-four hours . 
The imprisonment was remitted or avoided, but the fine was probably paid. 
This action of the court did not deter Mr. Waterhouse one iota from frequent 
future violations of the (to him) odious law. 


About this time, strong anti-slavery meetings were held in various portions 
of the surrounding country. One was held at Orland, which, at that time, 
contained many Abolitionists. Miss Whitford, of Allen Township, Noble 
.County, an enthusiastic Abolitionist and a lady of excellent heart and char- 
acter, was present and sang, with great power and effect, the song, one verse 
of which is : 

"The baying hounds are on my track ; 
' Old massa's close behind, 

And he's resolved to take me back 
Across the Dixon line." 

A large meeting of the same nature was held at Brushy Chapel, Spring- 
field Township, about the same time, Miss Whitford being present and singing 
the same and other appropriate songs. 

Mr. Waterhouse was a sincere and ardent Methodist, and took his position 
regarding slavery because he thought that Divine approval would sanction such 
a course. May his name be written with those of "Old" John Brown and 
Owen Lovejoy. 

During the autumn of 1836, Col. Cochran built a dam at the outlet of 
Long Lake, and over a short race erected the first saw-mill in the township. The 
mill was provided with a " flutter- wheel " and a "sash saw." It has changed 
owners many times and has been subjected to many alterations, but it is yet in 
operation. George Bassett, at an early day, made shingles by horse- power. 
He turned out a considerable quantity, finding a ready sale in the neighbor- 
hood. Smith & Chaffee built a steam saw-mill about thirty years ago. It was 
a good mill. They also manufactured shingles. In 1848, the Plank Road 
Company built a steam saw-mill at South Milford, which, under a change of 
owners, has been in operation since. It has done a vast amount of sawing. 
A Mr. Baxter conducted an ashery in the southern part for a series of years. 

Quite a little village grew up at Mud Corners at an early day. F. B. 
Masey erected a store building there about the year 1845. He had probably 
$3,000 worth of goods. Wright & Barry soon succeeded him. They erected 
an ashery, and for several years manufactured more than twenty tons of pearl- 
ash per annum, the greater portion of which was shipped away to market. 
James Knight began the erection of a brewery at the place, but abandoned the 
project before the building was completed. George W. Hatch built a tannery 
there ; he bought hides, but retired from the business before any leather was 
finished. William Knight conducted a blacksmith shop there ; Judge Seeley 
the same. William Dunn was Postmaster there, and it is said the office paid 
the official well. The place saw its brightest days about thirty years ago. The 
road past the corners and on down into Springfield Township was at that time 
known as " Brain street," from the number of Judges and other officials who 
lived thereon. 

In 1856, John A. Bartlett and Francis Henry, owners and proprietors, 
laid out forty-seven lots on Section 32, and named the village thus founded 


South Milford. There were four or five families living in the village at the 
time it was laid out. In about the year 1852, Wildman & Taylor opened a 
good country store. Jonathan Law was in the partnership in some capacity. 
Lambert & Rowe appeared with a stock of goods a few years before the last 
war broke out. Other merchants have been Hamlin Brothers, Dr. Gower, 
Austin, Jenkins, W. W. Miller, Hamilton Trindle, and the present partnership, 
J. N. Strayer & Co. The Bartlett Brothers owned the old store building. They 
erected the first hotel building. Theodore Upson is the present owner of a 
wagon and carriage shop, which is doing an excellent business. Orrin Fuller 
was in the same business about twenty years ago. Wildman & Taylor removed 
their store in about 1857. Fuller & Francis owned a good store at an early 
day. Dr. Diggins located in the village in about the year 1854, but did not 
remain over a year. Dr. John Dancer appeared in August, 1855, and has since 
remained practicing in the village and surrounding country. He is one of the 
substantial men of the place. Dr. White was in two years, coming in 1869. 
Dr. Broughton was in three years. Dr. Robinson was in a year and a half. 
Dr. W. A. Nusbaum appeared with packages and powders last March. The 
present population is about two hundred. In 1880, the following persons had 
passed the age of seventy-five : Clarissa Dyer, seventy-eight ; John Fought, 
eighty-seven ; Kalzamon Gunn, seventy-nine ; Isaac Hey wood, eighty-eight ; 
Jacob West, eighty ; Mary Fiandt, eighty-nine ; Valentine Groh, seventy- 
nine ; Betsy Gunn, seventy-nine ; Peter Sabin, eighty. 

Schools started up at a very early day in Milford. The first school build- 
ing in the township was erected during the autumn of 1836, by several of the 
settlers in at that time, among whom were the Cochrans, the Goodsells, the 
Turners, the Butts and others. Orris Danks taught in this house during the 
following winter, some twelve scholars attending. Danks was a long-limbed, 
eccentric Yankee. He had a good education for the times, and the backwoods 
children regarded him as a marvel of learning and greatness. Of couse the 
Yankee was equal to an emergency of that kind. It did him proud. This 
schoolhouse was located at what afterward became known as '' Mud Corners," 
named so from the extremely muddy place at the crossing. The old house was 
a substantial one, and was used until not far from the year 1854, when another 
was erected at the same place by Capt. Barry and Judge Seeley. The walls 
were built of cobble stones and mortar, and the building became known as the 
" Mud Schoolhouse." Some say that this schoolhouse (built as it was of mud 
and stone) gave name to the place, but that is a mistake, as the locality was 
known as " Mud Corners" long before the building was erected. The "mud " 
house was a poor concern, as the boys soon picked it in pieces with their jack- 
knives. In this manner an extra door was soon made at one corner, and then 
the building became dangerous, and another was built. Not far from the year 
1840, a log schoolhouse was built in the western part, near the Cases. In about 
the year 1838, a log schoolhouse was built about half a mile north of South 


Milford. This was probably the second school building in the township. The 
Baileys, the Fitches, the Sturgises, the Bassetts and others, sent to this house. 
Two terms of school were taught before 1840, in a building near the saw-mill 
owned by Col. Cochran. Immediately afterward, a log schoolhouse was built 
in the Perkins neighborhood. The Cochran school building was erected about 
twenty-five years ago. The one near the Kinsman saw-mill was built in about 
1843, and the one two miles east of it not far from the same time. In those 
early days, schoolhouses followed the settlers — no regard being paid to their 
location — just so far apart. Wherever a sufficient number of children were 
found, there was the spot for a log schoolhouse. The first school structure in 
South Milford was a frame building, now used as a dwelling by J. A. Bartlett, 
and was erected in 1854. Miss Hartsock was one of the first teachers. The 
house was built wholly at the expense of the townspeople, no assistance being 
received from the Township Trustees. Good schools were held in this house, 
which was used until five years ago, when the present brick building was erected. 
The township is at present provided with good schoolhouses. 

A small Baptist society was early organized at the residence of Col. 
Cochran. Elder Bailey, of Angola, preached for the few families that gath- 
ered there. The society survived but a few years. As early as 1838, a 
Methodist Episcopal society was organized at Mud Corners by Rev. Thomas 
Conley. Among the early members were B. B. Waterhouse and family, John 
Searl, wife and daughter, Capt. Barry and wife, John Barry and wife, Jacob 
Butts and wife, the Trowbridges, Hiram Hunt and others. In a short time 
trouble arose in the society, and a division occurred, one faction going norths 
west and building the Brushy Chapel, and the other remaining at the old 
schoolhouse at Mud Corners. After a few years, the latter scattered or died 
out, but the former has endured until the present. A Church of God society 
was organized in the southwestern part about thirty-five years ago. It was 
instituted, it is said, by Elder Martin, who became the first pastor. Subse- 
quent pastors have been Elders Hickernell, Thomas, Logue, Blickenstaff, Sands 
and Bumpus. In 1848, the society numbered some thirty members, and soon 
afterward exceeded that number, reaching about fifty in 1860. In 1864,' the 
frame church was erected under a contract of $1,000 with W. W. Lovett, the 
building committee being David Lower, Jacob Sturgis and Jacob Adams. 
The total cost of the building was about $1,200. The society numbers some 
sixteen members at present. Sunday school was organized at an early day, 
Alexander Meleny being the first, or one of the first, superintendents. It was 
an excellent country Sunday school for many years. Quite a strong Methodist 
society was early organized in the Cochran neighborhood. It flourished for 
some eight or ten years. The Church of God society in the northeastern 
corner had its origin many years ago in the old schoolhouse. Here the mem- 
bers continued to assemble until some questions arose regarding the use of the 
schoolhouse, when it was thought best to build a church, which was accordingly 


done not many years since. The society is not very strong numerically, 
though it is doing good work. Some of its best members live in Springfield 


by e. h. rekick. 

Clay Township— Swamps and Marshes— Journey to the Wilderness- 
Early Homes and Labors— Appalling Mortality in 1838— Growth 
AND Improvement— Churches and Schools. 

CLAY TOWNSHIP, though lying near the heart of the county, was one of 
the latest townships organized and still remains behind other townships in 
wealth and population. In the earliest days of the settlement, heavy forests and 
marshes covered the land, with only about five sections out of the thirty-eix 
inviting to the settler. To the north lay the broad prairies and easier cultivated 
lands of the upper townships, from which Clay was cut off by a long chain of 
marshes and rivulets and small lakes. At the present time, a large fraction of 
the land is marsh, and, in 1830, the water was a much more general element 
than now. At that time the now insignificant Buck Creek would indulge in 
floods during rainy seasons. The configuration of the township is uninterest- 
ing, except at the north, where the country is rolling, often approaching tlie 
dignity of hills. The only body of water in the township lies near the northern 
line — Buck Lake — which is yet an attractive little sheet of water, though cul- 
tivation has destroyed much of the picturesque surroundings it had when it was 
a favorite " watering-place " of the Pottawatomie braves and belles, when they 
were out on the Mongoquinong and Goshen trail. This spot is now rich in 
Indian relics, and a few small mounds or burial places are yet distinguishable. 
With its disadvantages in character of land. Clay did not rival the richer settle- 
ments in early years and did not get a start until La Grange came to be the 
most important town in the county. The first certificate issued for Clay land 
was No. 4,536 to Nathan Jenks, on June 9, 1835. One of the most interesting 
of the later entries is that made by the distinguished expounder of the Consti- 
tution, Daniel Webster, who, it appears, bought of the Government the east 
half of the northeast quarter of Section 9, and received Land Order 12,656, 
dated July 20, 1836. The great statesman afterward conveyed it to Senator 
James A. Bayard, father of the present Democratic leader. In the course of 
later transfers, the land passed through the hands of the old United States Bank, 
which was "nullified" by Andrew Jackson. There was but little speculation 
in Clay lands. 

A saw-mill on Buck Creek, at the site of the mills now owned by 
E. Fleck, was one of the first buildings in the township. Before there were 
any other white men settled in the township, material was prepared in 


1835 by a few settlers from the surrounding country for this mill. Samuel 
Hood was the builder, but it was not completed until after 1837. Levi 
Knott then ran the mill. A little settlement grew up with this industry, 
which formed the nucleus of the township growth. In this neighborhood 
there settled the Spragues, Madison and Michael, Thomas and Anson 
Clark, the latter the only single man, and Gilbert, a son-in-law of Thomas 
Clark. Gilbert soon left the country on account of irregularities which the 
settlers could not tolerate, even in such a distant outpost of civilization. These 
pioneers were all from Ohio. Some of them had had bitter experiences coming 
up through the Black Swamp on the Dayton road, in Ohio, and it took brave 
hearts to go through the hardships and trials of the journey for the sake of 
opening up the ague-tainted woods and marshes. In 1836, John Ryason came 
in, having bought lands near the present site of La Grange. After much hard 
work in improving the township, he moved to La Grange, and afterward died. 
Two other early comers were Montgomery and Boyles, who were employed at 
the mill in 1839. The first birth in the township is claimed to be a daughter 
to John and Charlotte Ryason, born March 17, 1837. But about the same 
time, Mrs. Montgomery presented the world with triplets, an occurrence which 
caused quite a sensation, and people came in numbers to see the little pioneers, 
not forgetting gifts for the parents, who were very poor. About 1837, Richard 
Salmon and his father and John Ramsey came to the country from New Jersey. 
Obadiah Lawrence, an early settler in Van Buren, married in that town, and 
came to Clay in 1836. He was a member of the first election board in 1838, 
when there were hardly enough voters to act as officers. One of the Thorps 
served on this board. There were four of this family, well known at that time 
— Elisha Thorp, the father ; and his sons, William, John and Jacob. Lived 
near Lapman's Schoolhouse. 

Shedrick Carney, one of the most widely known of the men who put 
muscle into the farms of Clay, came into line on land near La Grange February 
28, 1838. He had previously been in the county. He remembers with distinct- 
ness the bitter weather in which his journey was made, and the deep snow 
which covered the promised land upon his arrival. Mr. Carney was one of the 
contractors for furnishing lumber for the first court house, at $6.50 per thousand 

Samuel Carnahan, from Ohio, among the earliest, settled in the northeast 
in 1843, and lived here until his death in 1867. His sons, Alexander, Hiram 
and Samuel, are still residents of the county. 

These pioneers had no easy task before them. The country they had 
chosen was difficult to open, and there was everything to dishearten all but the 
boldest. But they were men who could face such work and overcome it. Some 
of them could chop down a heavy oak before breakfast for an appetizer, and fell 
an ordinary monarch of the forest for pastime. Many came into the country 
through mud and pelting snow. For food they must pay 18 cents a pound for 

cJ^^^^^^^^t^^^--^ ^^^!/tZe^4^-^^:^^^<t^^ 



pork, an article that would severely try a modern stomach. Salt was $9 a 
barrel and flour $14, and this had to be teamed often through the Black Swamp. 
But the settlers stood up bravely, and were happy in the prospect of farms of 
two or three acres, until the ague came. The sickly season of 1838 affected 
Clay so much as to practically put a stop to immigration for several years. 
Entire families would be shaking with fever and chills, unable to render assist- 
ance to each other. The ague had its favorite home in the bogs and fens of 
Clay. Other cheerful companions of those days were the rattlesnakes and 
wolves and Indians. Of the lot, the Indians were the most harmless. They 
hunted deer through the township a great deal, but never molested the white 
men. The last of the red men turned their faces to the setting sun and de- 
parted in 1843-44. Yet, with all their hardships, the settlers were not alto- 
gether unhappy. Mark Tapley could be cheerful in the "Eden" of swamp that 
Dickens tells of, and our pioneers were much better located than Mark was, 
and just as light-hearted. There were social gatherings once in a while, as the 
settlement increased — gatherings of the men sometimes — and thereby hangs 
many a tale of lively "shindies " and high old times in some lonely cabin. As 
time wore on, there were meetings now and then in the old log schoolhouse, 
which was put up in 1837, near the present residence of John Shirley, Sr. It 
was only eighteen feet square, but people would go from all parts of the town- 
ship and the country around about, on foot or in ox carts, and pack it full and 

Another log schoolhouse was erected on Henry Wallace's land in the 
south, a little later. In the spring of 1836, Eppah Bobbins built the first 
blacksmith-shop on the banks of Buck Creek. All of these old buildings have 
been destroyed. Although this region was not much sought after for some 
time (the prairies being preferred), people continued to come in slowly. Among 
the new-comers of 1839-40 were M. P. Sprague, who came from New York, 
and, in 1845, opened a brick-yard upon his land ; William Wigton, father of 
James C. and R. F. Wigton, of La Grange, occupied a farm in the same neigh- 
borhood. Mr. Wigton, in company with Edwin Owen, built a saw-mill on this 
land in 1 853, and operated it for six years. In 1864, Mr. Owen removed to 
Van Buren Township. Another early family were the Woodwards (Mrs. Mar- 
garet Woodward and her sons, John, William and Thomas), who are yet prom- 
inent citizens of the township and vicinity. 

About 1843, there were bad seasons in Ohio, and, in consequence, a con- 
siderable immigration took place, of which Clay received its share. Prominent 
among those who settled in the northeast of the township were Sylvester 
Davis, who remained but a few years ; his son, Franklin Davis (who in his 
early days managed the Showalter Mill, at La Grange, married in 1850, and 
went upon the farm in Section 11 which he now occupies) ; Lewis Merrifield 
and James Packer, afterward of Bloomfield ; Jesse Everett, David and Silas 
Latta (the latter of whom is deceased), Josiah Eaton and Oscar Spaulding. 


James Boyd, of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, generously increased the population by 
settling north of Sayler's Schoolhouse with a family of seventeen children. Mr, 
Boyd is still numbered among the living pioneers, but his wife is deceased. A 
little later than 1840, John Merriman bought land in the neighborhood of Fleck's 
Mills, and, in 1844, John Robbins, who had been living in the county since 
February, 1836, at Pretty Prairie and Van Buren, moved into Clay, on to a farm 
in Section 20. Mr. Robbins was born in Pennsylvania in 1808, moved with 
his father in 1816 to Ohio, and came to this county with his brothers and sister 
at the above date. He is still a citizen of the township. 

One of the most famous characters of the north of the township during the 
early times was Richard Thompson, or Dick, as they called him, a whole-souled 
and pious old man, but withal as jovial as any other son of Erin. He invested 
his property in Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad stock, which, unfortunately, 
has since then seldom attained the value of 15 cents on the dollar. 

The settlement on the town-line road between Clearspring and Clay was 
begun in the years 1835 or 1836, when Erastus Clark, one of the earliest 
Justices of the township, settled on land now occupied by John Roy ; Ernestus 
Schermerhorn came to the neighborhood about the same time as Clark did. 
John Roy was here in 1838, but did not at that time remain, being compelled 
by family misfortunes to return to his old home in Wayne County, N. Y. In 
1846, he came again to Clay and has since been a resident. Mr. Roy has been 
honored by his township with the position of Trustee for fourteen years, during 
which time he has erected nearly all the schoolhouses now in use in the town- 
ship. The other earliest comers were Elisha Taylor, who lived at the present 
residence of Milton Bingham ; Hezekiah Beebee ; Leiflick Sanburn, of New 
England; Widow Dorcas Bailey, of Ohio; and Jacob Mosher, of New York, 
who was in 1881 the oldest man in the township. The people were mostly from 
the East, and formed an intelligent and kindly neighborhood. In 1842, Mrs. 
Caroline G. Bingham, with her son Milton and daughter Laura, came to the 
home of her father, Elisha Taylor, where the mother and son still reside. 
Their journey was from Allegany County, N. Y., overland — there were nine 
in the wagon, and it was an eighteen days' journey. Mrs. Bingham was one 
of the earliest schoolmistresses, and can also remember, as an incident of that 
time, when every one turned his hand to everything in the way of work, when 
she could see specimens of her tailoring on nearly all of the church-goers at 
the log schoolhouse. Samuel Beatty, who now owns several hundred acres of 
land and is one of the leading solid men of the township, came in about 1844, 
and by skill in cooperiug paid for a yoke of oxen to begin the work of clear- 
ing off the nucleus of his present possessions. In 1851, Arad Lapman 
moved into Clay Township from Newbury, and settled where he now lives. 

In 1843, there was a school begun in the Taylor Schoolhouse, just over in 
Clearspring, which was taught by Elizabeth Sanburn, daughter of Eliphalet 
Sanburn, and afterward the wife of Andrew Ellison, Esq. In 1844, a school- 


house was built on Taylor's farm, in which Hannah Parker was the first 
teacher. A school was maintained here until 1858, when the house was de- 
stroyed. It was in this house that the body of Charles Wolford, who, in a 
moment of derangement, cut his throat in a wood near by, in early days, was 
laid out to await the Coroner. A saw-mill in this neighborhood, owned by 
Davis & Fought, and afterward by William Hudson, was burned during the 
war. Christian Plank built a saw-mill in Section 33, in 1866. 

The early trading of the settlers was done at Lima, and that town and La 
Grange continue to be the markets of the township, there being no stores or 
taverns in its limits. The first road to be laid out was the Baubaga road, 
running directly west from La Grange through the center of the township, and 
about the same time the Pigeon road, following in part the ,old trail past Buck 
Lake. About 1840, the road running north and south past the Fleck Mills 
was opened. Between 1840 and 1850 the population increased at a good rate, 
and it is impracticable to give an account of the progress of the settlement. 
The later history of the township, further than that given in our sketches of the 
churches and schools, gives but a few points for notice. In 1843, there was a 
memorably severe winter ; provisions were very scarce in the settlement and 
no way of getting supplies. The snow lay on the ground continuously from 
the middle of November until the 3d of April. A great many cattle and 
horses died for lack of food. This was a discouraging time, and the necessity 
of eating corn-bread as a regular diet created earnest longings for the wheat 
fields of the Bast, 

Among the industries of the township years ago was iron mining in a 
small way. There are considerable deposits of bog-iron ore, or limonite, in 
Hobbs' Marsh, which were for a time mined and the ore taken to the old forge 
in Lima Township; but the business soon proved unprofitable and was discon- 
tinued some time before the war. One of the most important establishments 
in the county is the Fleck Mills, upon the site of the original saw-mill built in 
1837. E. Fleck, in 1881 the sole owner of the mills, was born in 1834, in 
Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Upon his coming to age, he went to La Porte 
County, to learn the trade of carpentering, and then returned to Ohio, where 
he was married in 1857. In 1865, he came to the township with his father, 
bought the old mill property, and rebuilt the saw-mill in 1867. In 1871, the 
flouring-mill was completed, which grinds the grists for a great part of the pop- 
ulation west of La Grange. The mills have never suffered from fire and no 
accident has occurred, save an occasional washing away of the dam. 

In that long-to-be-remembered year of conflagration, 1871, there were 
destructive fires in the marshes of Clay. One started in the marsh southwest 
of Fleck's Mills, and came sweeping up in that direction with the fury of a 
cyclone. The whole population turned out to meet and keep down the flames, 
and all other work was neglected. A great many fences were destroyed and a 
barn belonging to Widow Latta was burned. It was so throughout the town- 


ship, and if it had not been for the heroic efforts of the people, much valuable 
property would have gone up in smoke. A funeral was being conducted at the 
Sayler Schoolhouse at the time when the fire came up in that neighborhood. 
The sense of danger and the demand for help at the fire overcame every other 
feeling, and in a few moments scarcely enough were left to attend to the burial. 
The early settlers have had much experience in fighting fire, but none equal to 
that in 1871. 

A startling deed of violence took place on the evening of December 18, 
1861, which resulted in the arrest of Hiram Springer, Daniel Rowan, Whiting 
Phillips and several other young men on a charge of murder. The party of 
young fellows and Mr. Jacob Beam and several members of his family became 
engaged in an unfortunate conflict at Mr. Beam's house, in which he was struck 
down and his neck broken, resulting in his immediate death. The men above 
named were indicted for murder, but all were discharged except Springer, who 
was found guilty of manslaughter, but was ultimately discharged. 

On the afternoon of January 20, 1876, an appalling accident occurred in 
the township, the saddest in the history of the county. A steam saw-mill be- 
longing to William Price and Joseph Kennedy, and located two miles north- 
west of La Grange, was blown to pieces on that day, and three men instantly 
killed. The mill was totally demolished and scattered over an area of ten 
acres. The proprietors and employes were in the mill at the time of the 
explosion, and Price was thrown some distance, bruised and stunned. Kennedy 
was so badly torn and bruised that he breathed his last as soon as picked up. 
Sebastian Goss, the sawyer, was instantly killed and Henry Corwin, the en- 
gineer, was terribly mangled. To add to the horror, a little child of Mr. Ken- 
nedy's was so badly scalded that its life was long despaired of The proprietors 
had been residents of Clay for about three years. The terrible event produced 
a profound sensation. It was one of those mysterious explosions for which no 
one can be blamed and cannot be explained. 

Clay Township is now populous and becoming well developed. The 
marshes are being drained and cultivated, fine roads traverse the township in 
every direction, the fertile soil is well tilled and yields abandantly, and many 
fine residences attest the comfortable circumstances of the farmers who have 
made Clay what it is, and now have a right to enjoy the fruits of their labor. 

Brief sketches of the churches and schools of the township will serve to 
indicate its social development. The first religious meetings in the township 
were held by a Methodist Episcopal minister, stationed at Lima. The same 
denomination have at present smalV classes at Green's and Roy's Schoolhouses, 
whose pastor is Rev. B. H. Hunt. The Rev. James Latham, a very earnest 
and fiery circuit preacher of the Protestant Methodist Church, began to preach 
at Sayler's Schoolhouse about the middle of August, and as the settlers had 
been without religious services for some time, he met with great success, in 
spite of the unfavorable season. A regular old-fashioned revival was the result; 


people crowded to the meetings, and a great many conversions occurred. The 
Bethel Church, which continues to be the leading society, was organized at this 
time. Before this time, there had been an organization of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church at the Sayler Schoolhouse, near the present home of Milton 
Bingham, which was ministered to by Revs. Miller, Fairchild and others. The 
Bethel society, at its formation, had thirty-five members ; there are now sixty- 

Among the early ministers were S. F. Hale, B. B. Newell, James Mc- 
Kinlay, H. H. Hulbert, D. B. Clark and Stephen Phillips. The Bethel 
Church continued its meetings in the Sayler Schoolhouse until 1880, when it 
was proposed to erect a church. The work was commenced at once with great 
spirit, the brick was drawn during a busy season from a yard several miles 
distant, and, in eight months, one of the neatest and most commodious churches 
in the county was erected, and the debt raised. The church is in dimensions 
36x48, is comfortably seated, and accommodates an audience of 400. About 
one thousand persons attended the dedication services in January, 1881, and 
the sermon was delivered by President George B. Michelroy, of Adrian College. 
At this meeting, $1,285 was raised. A pleasant feature of the enterprise 
was the absence of all discord among the members. Among those who were 
active in the building of the church were Josiah Eaton, Franklin Davis., 
Michael Gerrin, Hiram Carnahan, Samuel Carnahan, Samuel Crowl and 
Ephraim Latta. The Methodist Protestant Church also has societies meeting 
at Bobbins' Schoolhouse (seventeen members), and at Plank's Schoolhouse 
(twenty-three members). Rev. L. F. Hutt is the present pastor (1881). Josiah 
Eaton has been for some time Superintendent of the Sabbath school in Bethel 
Church, and is Vice President of the County Sabbath School Association. A 
short time before the Latham revival, the Baptist Church had an organization 
at the Bobbins Schoolhouse, but it is not now maintained. At Roy's School- 
house there is a Lutheran society at present. The Amish and German Baptists 
have a small following in the western part of the township. 

The earliest schoolhouses have already been referred to. All of those first 
built in the various school districts have been torn down and replaced by new 
and commodious houses, except Poynter's Schoolhouse, which is of recent erec- 
tion. The present houses are known as Shirley's, Sayler's, Ford's, Beatty's, 
Green's, Rowan's, Robbins', Miller's, Walter's, Everett's, Roy's and Poyn- 
ter's, all of frame, and valued at $6,500. Twelve teachers are at present em- 
ployed, and receive $1.40 per day on the average, if of the sterner sex, and 
$1.13, if women, for an average term of 140 days. The average attendance 
for 1880-81 was 221, out of an enrollment of 384. The first division of the 
township into school districts was made January 5, 1844. The following is a 
list of Trustees for the township: First, Michael Sprague, George Hood and 
Frank Gould; Second, John Merriman, Elisha Thorp and Obadiah Lawrence; 
Third, Eliphalet Sanburn, Erastus and Samuel Clark ; Fourth, William B. 


Elliott, Jared 0. Chapman and Reuben Hays ; Fifth, Michael P. and James M. 

Sprague, and Samuel Carnahan. 

Following is a list of the Justices of the Peace since 1842, as shown by 
the records : William Woodward, 1851-56 ; Sylvester Davis, 1850 ; Hugh 
Finlay, 1849; Levi Knott, 1847-49; J. S. Merriman, 1845-50; Kiah 
Gould, 1844-49; George Hood, 1842-44; James Finlay, 1855; William 
Lewis, 1854-58; Josiah T. Bowen, 1854-58; Thomas Snyder, 1860-72; 
Emanuel Fleck, 1868-76 ; George D, Rockwell, 1872-80 ; Lewis Lisher, 1876- 
84 ; John Robbins, 1879-81 ; Sheldon Robbins, 1880-84. By the census of 
1880 the following persons, over the age of seventy-five, were shown to be 
residents of the township : James Boyd, seventy-nine ; John Brindley, eighty- 
three ; Jerusha Eatenger, seventy-six ; George Eatenger, seventy-six ; Jacob 
Erb, eighty-three ; Frederick Labold, seventy-seven ; Jacob Mosher, eighty - 
two ; Arethusa Mosher, seventy-seven ; Eleanor Norris, eighty ; Hetty 
Sprague, seventy-six. 



OTIS L. BALLOU, attorney at law, was born in Saratoga County, N. 
Y., August 31, 1849; son of Pardon D. and Catharine (Bonesteel) Ballou. 
The family is of French origin, and formerly pronounced their name Valloo. 
Early in the history of the United States, two brothers emigrated to this 
country and all of that name now here are the direct descendants of these two. 
The name is familiar in the halls of Congress and also in literature and 
religion. Otis L. Ballou was brought to Ashtabula County, Ohio, when a 
small boy, by his parents, and there reared to manhood. He graduated from 
the Kingsville Academy in 1868, and in 1869 married Julia M. Curtiss. The 
same year, he and his wife, and his parents moved to La Grange County, where 
he began farming and teaching school. While at this he began the study of 
law, having access to the library of Andrew Ellison. He was admitted to 
practice in 1872, but did not commence until June, 1875, and continued alone 
until September, 1878, when he formed a partnership with George A. Cutting, 
which existed until September, 1880. Mr. Ballou is a Democrat, and is Mas- 
ter County Commissioner of the county. He has held local positions of trust, 
and is one of the present School Trustees. To Mr. and Mrs. Ballou were born 
two children — Pardon D. and Katie M. 

JOHN BARR was born in Marion County, Ohio, April 24, 1826, one of 
a family of nine children — six now living — born to Amos and Overbia (Blox- 
som) Barr, who emigrated from Ohio to White Pigeon, Mich., with the family 
of John Miller, in 1829. The same year, they staked claims in Greenfield 
Township, this county — the land at that time not being in the market — and in 
1830 moved, built cabins, and made that their final home. Amos Barr dying 
in May, 1838, John Barr, our subject, made his home in Greenfield Township, 
from the time he moved there with his parents until his removal to La Grange 
in 1881. The farm in Greenfield consists of 180 acres of fine land on English 
Prairie, and is rented out. He was married in 1851 to Miss Mary M., daugh- 
ter of David and Elizabeth (Green) Blya, and who came from New York to La 
Grange County in 1847. To this union there have been born three children — 
Julia, wife of Charles H. Miller, of Greenfield Township ; Flemming, who 
married Ella Fraleigh, and resides in Greenfield Township ; and Libbie, wife 
of M. H. Anderson, attorney, of La Grange. Mr. Anderson's father was the 
first white child born in Greenfield Township. Mr. Barr is living a retired 
life. He is a Republican and a member of the Masonic fraternity. 

MAJ. W. B. BINGHAM was born in Adams County, Penn., November 14, 
1819 ; son of David and Sarah (Burns) Bingham — on his father's side descended 
from Irish ancestors and on his mother's from Scotch. Both of Maj. Bingham's 
grandfathers came to the United States prior to the Revolutionary war, and 


both served the Colonies, as mechanics, in their struggle for independence. 
Maj. Bingham, in 1828, emigrated, with his parents, to Richland County, Ohio. 
At the age of ten, he was employed as mail carrier, on horseback, from Mans- 
field to the mouth of the Black River, at that time a hazardous duty. Young 
Bingham continued at this until about the age of fifteen, when he engaged at 
clerking in Mansfield and neighboring towns. Afterward engaged in agricult- 
ural pursuits until 1847, when he enlisted for the Mexican war, under Col. 
Bruff, in the Fourth Ohio Regiment. He was first in Gen. Taylor's division 
on the Rio Grande, but was afterward transferred to Gen. Scott's command. 
He participated in the battle of Atlixco and several other engagerflents under 
Gen. Lane, including Puebla and Waumautala. He remained with Lane until 
peace was declared, and was discharged as Orderly Sergeant the fall of 1848. 
He returned home, and in 1849 married Mary Dille. In 1855, he moved to 
La Grange. His health having failed from disease contracted in his Mexican 
campaign, he gave up farming and engaged in mercantile pursuits. Long be- 
fore the breaking-out of the rebellion, Mr. Bingham had discerned the coming 
struggle, and being an excellent drill-master, he had a class formed and well 
drilled, so that on President Lincoln's first call he had troops ready for service. 
After sending three companies to the front, he was elected Captain of Company 
H in the Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and they entered service in 
September, 1861. At the battle of Fort Donelson, Capt. Bingham was pro- 
moted Major of the Forty-fourth for gallant conduct. He was mustered out 
for disability the spring of 1863, and has since been living a quiet and retired 
life. He and wife are the parents of five living children, viz, : Huldah, Frank, 
Emma, William and Edward. 

SAMUEL BRADFORD, deceased, was one of the first settlers of La 
Grange County; born in Hillsboro County, N. H,, December 20, 1800, 
and was a lineal descendant of George Bradford, who came over in the May- 
flower. Samuel Bradford moved, with his parents, to New York State at an 
early day, where his father died in 1808, leaving a wife, three sons and four 
daughters. His school advantages consisted of three months' attendance, hav- 
ing been constantly employed in duties common to pioneer life. In 1820, being 
a minister of that faith, he was one of four to establish a branch of the first 
Free- Will Baptist Church in what is now Monroe County, N. Y. He married 
Betsey Compton the spring of 1825, in Bradford County, Penn. The next 
day, he left his bride and started into Ohio, where he was absent one year, 
looking after the interests of his church in Huron, Marion, Hardin, Logan, 
Champaign, Clark and Madison Counties. He then, with his wife, resided in 
Marion County, Ohio, five years. The spring of 1831, he came to La Grange 
County, pre-empting land in Greenfield Township, known as the "Stead farm," 
and owned by Benjamin Long. He erected a log cabin, and the succeeding 
fall returned to Ohio, and brought his family and settled on this place, which 
he sold in 1833 and moved to Springfield Township. In 1834, he erected on 
Turkey Creek the first saw-mill in the county, and in 1835 added a carding- 
raill. In 1836, he sold out and, in 1837, returned to Greenfield Township, 
living upon the farm of Samuel Brown, where he held schools in his house, 
among the first in the township. About this time. Elder Bradford withdrew 
from the Free- Will Baptist Church, having adopted the non-resistant and anti- 
slavery principles, and formed the society at Lexington known as the " Congre- 
gation of Saints." Elder Bradford was a man of strong religious convictions, 
and the greater part of his life was given to elevate and better mankind. He 


assisted in the organization of the La Grange Industrial Association, and at 
the time of his death was a member of the La Grange Phalanx. He died 
December 3, 1845, and to his memory was erected a monument by the mem- 
bers of the Congregation of Saints, on which was inscribed the following : 

" Brother, in thee Society no common loss sustained, 
For thou wast to humanity a warm and faithful friend. 

Thy life, thy nobler powers, with an unsparing hand to God and man thou didst devote. 
And all thou hadst an I all thou was thou gavest to promote." 

His wife was a native of Cooperstown, N. Y. ; born December 8, 1799- 
They had four children — William C, Alvah E., Samuel P. and Lucinda. Mrs. 
Bradford bravely shared the privations of pioneer life, and after his death 
carried out the principles he had inculcated in the minds of their children, 
which left their impress upon them through life. She died August 3, 1856 

CAPT. SAMUEL P. BRADFORD, County Clerk, is the only survivor of 
the family of Samuel Bradford, and, with the exception of one brother, Wm. C, 
who is buried on the north side of Pretty Prairie, all rest in the village cemetery 
of Lexington. Capt. Bradford was born April 11, 1832, on English Prairie, 
in Greenfield Township, and is the oldest white person born in La Grange 
County and yet living here. He received a practical education, and Avhen 
twelve years of age, his father died; after which he, in turn, farmed, taught 
school, worked at carpentering and clerked in a store in Fort Wayne. ■ From 
this last place he returned and lived with his mother until her death, after 
which he farmed in Milford Township. On the 22d of September, 1861. he 
enlisted in Company H, Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry as private ; but, 
after the battle of Corinth, was appointed Regimental Quartermaster, and was 
with the command from Corinth to Battle Creek, Louisville, Nashville, and 
thence to Murfreesboro in 1863; then to McMinnville, Jasper, Bridgeport, 
Chickamauga and Chattanooga. January 19, 1863, he received his commission 
as Quartermaster of the regiment, and in the fall of 1864 was assigned to Gen. 
Steadman's staff as Chief Quartermaster of the District of Etowah. January 11, 
1865, he was commissioned Captain of Company H of his regiment, but retained 
his position on Gen. Steadman's staff until October 1, 1865.' His regiment, 
however, was mustered out September, 1865, while he was still on detached 
service; but he was simply relieved from duty, drawing no pay after November, 
1865, and finally, in 1868, was mustered out by special order of Gen. Grant. 
The Captain then engaged in business in Tennessee and Illinois, and, in 1870, 
returned to La Grange County. In 1877, he was elected County Clerk by the 
Republican party, which position he still holds. At the time of the compfetion 
of the new court house, the County Commissioners directed Capt. Bradford to 
arrange and index the records of the Clerk's office, which were in a bad con- 
dition. This task was completed, and has been pronounced the most complete 
system in the State. The successful manner in which Capt. Bradford super- 
vised the building of the new court house and arranged the details of his office 
has brought him into popular favor' as an officer of executive ability. He was 
married, September 3, 1858, to Miss Sue E., only daughter of William Hern^ 

C. A. BRANT is a son of Jabez and Arminda (Kirby) Brant, his birth 
occurring in what is now Ashland County, Ohio, January 31, 1829, and he is 
one of eleven children. His youth and early manhood were employed at dif- 
ferent occupations, mostly farming. He received a good common school edu- 
cation. In 1855, he married Armina Ensign, and in March, 1856, removed 


to Decatur, Iowa, where he engaged in farming ; he remained there until 1862, 
when he returned to Michigan, and in 1863 removed to La Grange, and was 
■employed as traveling salesman, at which he continued eleven years. In 1875, 
he established himself in the drug trade in La Grange. His wife died Sep- 
tember 4, 1866, having borne a family of four children, only two — Selwyn A. 
and Addie M. — now living. Mr. Brant married his present wife, Louisa V. 
Ohase, July 1, 1873, and to this union is born one son — Charles E. Mr. Brant 
is a Democrat, has been a member of the Town Council, and is a member of 
4;he Masonic fraternity. Mrs. Brant is a member of the Presbyterian Church. 

J. S. & A. D. BROWN are sous of Abijah Brown, who was born May 
30, 1799, in South Adams, Vt. When a boy, his parents removed to Herki- 
mer County, N. Y., where they afterward died. At the age of twenty-one, he 
married Maria Shoff, and in 1826 removed to Allegany County, N. Y. In 
1838, Mr. Brown located in Huron County, Ohio, and in 1845 purchased land 
in this county, and in 1865, having disposed of his property in Ohio, he came 
■with his family to La Grange. December 30, 1867, his wife died, and he Jan- 
uary 8, 1872. Their remains rest in La Grange Cemetery. They were parents 
of seven children — Electa, Ira W., Charlotte L., Jacob S., Julia M., Adrian 
D. and one that died in infancy. Jacob S. was born in New York State 
March 22, 1829. He came to La Grange County in the fall of 1854, locating 
near the southern line of Bloomfield Township, and started the first steam saw- 
mill in Johnson Township. The following spring his brother Ira came out, 
and they operated the mill two years. Jacob S. then sold his interest and re- 
turned to Ohio, where for three years he was engaged in farming. Adrian D. 
-was born in Huron County, Ohio, December 17, 1840. He came to this 
county in 1865. That summer Mr. Brown, Sr., and Ira W. purchased the 
Boyd property, and in the spring of 1867, Adrian D. and his father began the 
drug business, continuing until the winter of 1871, when Jacob S. succeeded 
his father. In the spring a portion of the Boyd House was destroyed, and the 
(father and three sons — Jacob, Ira and Adrian — began the erection of Brown's 
iHotel. It was completed in the spring of 1872 ; it was a four-story brick, 
including the basement, 48x100. The building was then leased, and the lower 
rooms occupied by business firms. In one room J. S. and A. D, Brown opened 
a drug store ; the bank occupied another. On the 7th of January, 1877, the 
ibuilding was destroyed by fire, the loss being upward of $18,000. In 1878, 
the grounds were divided and Jacob S. and Adrian D. began the erection of 
their present buildings, A. D. taking the north lot, which is 22x120, and J. S. 
tthe three lower lots, each 22x80. In the second story of the latter's building 
■is situated Brown's Hall, 56x60, with a seating capacity of 800, and the best 
lin town. A. D. is carrying on a good business in the drug and grocery line. 
The Browns deserve much credit for the enterprise which has characterized 
ttheir career in La Grange, being among the best business men in the State. 
•Jacob S. married his first wife, Elizabeth Ingraham, May 11, 1856. They 
ihad five children, two now living — Ellen M. and Kate E. The mother died 
vin August, 1864, and in October, 1865, Mr. Brown married his present wife, 
:Sarah M. Chamberlain. They have had two children — Frederick J. and Car- 
oline G. May 3, 1870, Adrian D. Brown married a sister of his brother's 
present wife. Miss Helena C. Chamberlain, and to them four children have 
iheen born — Guy C, Harold, Thaddeus and Chamberlain. 

GEORGE W. BURBRIDGE, station agent, was born in Nottawa, St. 
Joseph Co., Mich., April 22, 1855, a son of Charles and Ann (Holling) Bur- 


bridge, natives of England, and who came to Canada, where they were marriedi 
At an early period they settled in St. Joseph County, Mich., and there engaged 
in farming. Mr. Burbridge was a poor man on his arrival, but, being energetic, 
soon acquired valuable property. In 1863, he enlisted in Company F, Eleventh 
Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and in May, 1864, died from disease contracted 
while in the service. His widow died in 1870. George W. was raised in St. 
Joseph County, where he continued on the farm until the winter of 1872, when 
he taught school, after which he went to Oberlin, Ohio, to learn telegraphy. 
The fall of 1873, he went to Centerville, Mich., and was in the employ of the- 
Michigan Central Railroad Company until the next November. Since that 
time he has been employed at different places in his business, among them being 
Fort Wayne, Winchester and Sturgis. For two months he was shipping clerk, 
in the furniture establishment of J. G. Wait, in Sturgis. December 14, 1876, 
he was employed by the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, as agent at this 
place. He is a Republican, and was married June 27, 1877, to Miss Jennie E„ 
Kerr, of Nottawa, Mich., and to them has been born one son — Charles A. 

ABNER S. CASE, Deputy County Recorder, was born in Monroe Coun- 
ty, N. Y., January 13, 1822, one of twelve children born to Oliver and 
Electa (Webster) Case, who were natives respectively of New York and Con- 
necticut. Abner Case was raised on a farm in his native county until fourteen 
years old, when he moved with his parents to Monroe County, Mich. In Jan- 
uary, 1845, he married Anna Bunker, and for twelve years succeeding this, he 
engaged in a flouring-mill. In 1850, he came to Ontario, La Grange Co. Mr, 
Case, with five others, assisted in the organization of the Republican party in. 
La Grange County, and by it was elected County Recorder, and served four 
years. He was then elected and re-elected County Clerk, serving eight years, 
with the exception of a short time when he resigned to fill the position of State 
Senator. He served in the regular sessions of 1869 and 1871, and a called 
session in April, 1869. In the spring of 1872, the Recorder of the county 
having died, he was appointed for the unexpired term, after which he took 
charge of the new flouring-mills in La Grange. His health failing, he discon- 
tinued this occupation in 1879, since when he has been living retired and as- 
sisting his son in the Recorder's office. He and wife were parents of two chil- 
dren — Eugene V., and Frank E., who died in infancy. Eugene V. was mar- 
ried, November 17, 1867, to Alice M. Ruick, of La Grange, daughter of Daniel 
Ruick. To them have been born three children, Anna B., deceased, Mary E. 
and Carl S. E. V. Case was County Clerk by appointment the fall of 1868,. 
and the spring of 1869. From the time he was fourteen years old to 1871, he 
acted as Deputy County Clerk. He was mail agent on the Lake Shore & 
Michigan Southern Railroad one and a half years, and in 1880 was elected 
County Recorder, and is the present incumbent. 

H. M. CASEBEER, M. D., was born in Holmes County, Ohio, April 9, 
1854. His father, David Casebeer, was of German descent, and a farmer by 
occupation. He married Rebecca Kenestrick, who has since died, and they 
were the parents of twelve children. H. M. Casebeer lived on a farm until 
fourteen years old, when he began teaching in the district schools. In this 
manner he paid his way, securing a good practical literary education. At the 
age of seventeen he began reading medicine under the instructions of his broth- 
er, Dr. J. B. Casebeer, of Auburn, and read four years. During the winter 
term of 1873-74, he attended his first course of lectures at Ann Arbor. 
The next spring he began practicing in Auburn, and continued until the winter 


of 1875-76, when he returned to Ann Arbor and graduated, with the 
special diploma of Physical Diagnosis. He practiced in Leo, Allen Co., Ind., 
until October, 1878, when he removed to La Grange and formed a partnership 
with Dr. E. G. White. Dr. Casebeer is a Republican, and a member of the 
M. E. Church. He was married June 5, 1876, to Lizzie Speechly, of Ann 
Arbor, who died November 10, 1880. 

JOHN H. CATON, blacksmith, was born in Frederick County, Md., 
December 16, 1839 ; one of ten children of James A. and Catharine 
(Ludwick) Caton. John H., in 1849, accompanied his parents to Preble 
County, Ohio, thence to Elkhart County, Ind., in 1850, where his parents died. 
At the age of seventeen, he began learning the blacksmith's trade. He enlisted 
in 1861, and was sent to Indianapolis to join the Ninth Indiana Volunteer 
Infantry, but found the regiment made up. He soon after went to Mishawaka, 
and was in the employ of the Government as a mechanic. In December, 1861, 
he went to Missouri, and the following April came to La Grange. In the fall 
of 1864, Mr. Caton received a commission as Second Lieutenant, and recruited 
a company, reporting to the Provost Marshal at Kendallville, and mustered 
into service as Company G, One Hundred and Fifty-second Indiana Volunteer 
Infantry. They were then sent to Camp Carrington, at Indianapolis, Mr. 
Caton, ad interim, having been commissioned Captain, and were here mustered 
in as Company F, One Hundred and Fifty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry. 
They were then sent to the front, and remained until the close of the war on 
active duty. Returning to La Grange, he resumed his trade. He was mar- 
ried October 3, 1869, to Miss Annette Kingsley, and they have had five 
children, three of whom are living — Claude H., John P. and Kittie B. Mr. 
and Mrs. Caton are members of the Episcopalian Church ; he is a Republican, 
has served several times at Town Marshal of La Grange, and belongs to the A., 
F. & A. M. ; also is a member of the Chapter and Commandery at Kendall- 
ville, and has held all the official positions of the Blue Lodge, excepting that 
of Secretary. 

JOHN F. CLUGSTON, merchant, was born in Frankin County, Penn., 
August 24, 1829, son of John and Jane (Martin) Clugston, natives of Penn- 
sylvania, and parents of eight children, seven yet living. Mr. Clugston's 
father, while in Pennsylvania, was a manufacturer of wagons, and engaged in 
farming. After his removal to Ashland County, Ohio, in 1847, he was em- 
ployed in the manufacture of grain cradles. John F. was educated in Penn- 
sylvania, and in Ohio engaged in carpentering. March 21, 1854, he was 
married to Catharine Will, and the following August moved to this county, which 
he had visited in 1852. Mr. Clugston worked at his trade about five years, 
and was Postmaster for a time, his service terminating in 1860. He then 
formed a partnership with John Will in a general store. Ephraim Welch was 
a member of the firm one year, and, with that exception, the co-partnership has 
continued uninterruptedly and harmoniously as Will & Clugston to the present, 
being one of the oldest business houses in La Grange. Mr. Clugston is a 
Democrat, and a member of the I. 0. 0. F. Mrs. Clugston died October 13, 
1880, aged forty-six years six months and fifteen days. She was a member 
of the Presbyterian Church, as is also Mr. Clugston. They were parents of 
three children — Charles F., Mary J. and John W. Mr. Clugston's parents 
removed to La Grange in 1867, where his father is yet living, his mother dying 
in 1875. February 21, 1882. Mr. Clugston was married at Lansing, Mich., to 
Mrs. E. J. Smith, of this county. 


S. D. CRANE, attorney at law, son of Arba and Sarah (Danford) Crane, 
natives respectively of Vermont and New York, was born in La Grange County. 
His father was a carder and cloth-dresser, and an early settler of La Grange, 
where he is now living in retirement. His mother was a Mrs. Scott when she 
came to this county, and after her husband's death, married Mr. Crane. She 
died many years ago, leaving six children, four by her first husband, and two, 
our subject and B. Frank, by Mr. Crane. S. D. received good school ad- 
vantages, graduating at Hillsdale, Mich., in 1874. For several years he was 
engaged in teaching, having served as Principal of the Lima School two years, 
of Wolcottville three years, of the Kendallville High School one year, and of 
the Middlebury High School of Elkhart County one year. He served over one 
year as School Examiner o.f La Grange County, and for six years has been 
County Superintendent of Schools. He founded the La Grange Register, 
March 26, 1876, and was connected with it one year. He began the study of 
law in 1874, and in 1875 was admitted to the bar, practicing law during that 
year. In September, 1881, he went to Ligonier, and, in company with H. D. 
Reynolds, engaged in the practice of law and insurance business. He is now 
in the practice of his profession in La Grange. Mr. Crane is a Mason, and 
was married in 1870 to Miss Emogene Nickols, daughter of William Nickols, 
of Lima, Ind. She died in March, 1877, leaving three children — Clair V., 
Charles D. and Robert G. Mr. Crane was again married, in 1878, to Miss 
Emma L. Benham, a native of Illinois ; she is a graduate of a Michigan Uni- 
versity, and is a practicing physician of the homeopathic school. 

CAPT. H. CROCKER was born in Monroe County, N. Y., March 30, 
1825 ; a son of Joseph and Almira (Adams) Crocker. He is a grandson of 
Guerdon Crocker, who was a Captain in the war of Independence. Joseph 
Crocker was a Captain in the war of 1812, and is yet living at the advanced 
age of ninety-one on the farm he first settled in Huron County, Ohio, when 
our subject was about five years old. The representative of this sketch was there 
married to Marilda Shepard. They had two children — Ida and Ella. Having 
traded for land near this town, he immigrated hither in the spring of 1850, 
where his wife died two years later. He then began working at the carpenter 
and joiner's trade in town. The fall of 1862 he assisted in the organization 
of the Eighty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He immediately after aided 
in the organization of Company C, One Hundredth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. 
On their way to the front they stopped at South Milford, where an ovation was 
extended to them by the citizens. At this place, Mr. Crocker was elected 
Captain, and they entered active service in the Department of the Mississippi. 
Capt. Crocker, by reason of ill-health, tendered his resignation, which was 
accepted in June, 1863, but, owing to the interruption of the mails, did not 
receive its acceptance until the following fall. On his return, the Captain 
entered mercantile business. He was married to his present wife, Clarinda 
Heminger, in 1855. He is a Republican and a member of the I. 0. 0. F. of 
La Grange. 

MAJ. J. L. DRAKE was born in Holmes County, Ohio, November 1, 
1817 ; the son of David and Rachel (Sills) Drake, who were natives respect- 
ively of Maryland and Virginia, and the parents of eight children. David 
Drake was twice married, by his first wife having two children. He came from 
Maryland to Holmes County, Ohio, in 1814, and died there in 1846. His wife 
died in the fall of 1878. James L. Drake, when seventeen years of age 
'earned the tailor's trade. This he discontinued at the end of three years, on 


account of ill-health, and engaged in farming; also clerked for a time. In 
1849, he and twelve others, including three brothers, went to California over- 
land, being one hundred and five days on the trip. They remained fourteen 
months. For the first two months our subject mined with the rest, but soon 
established a trading place, and in three months cleared $8,000. Among other 
things he clerked in a wholesale store at Sacramento, receiving $500 and board per 
month. The winter of 1850 he started home via Panama, and on his arrival in 
New Orleans was taken down with the small- pox. After his recovery, he returned 
to his family, and purchased the old homestead in Holmes County, Ohio. Mr. 
Drake had been a Democrat, but after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise 
became a Republican. For this his neighbors made threats to lynch him. He 
assisted in raising the first three years' company in Ohio, Company H, Twen- 
ty-third Regiment, of which he was elected Captain. He also had two brothers 
and two sons in the war. One brother, Levi, Lieutenant Colonel of the Forty- 
ninth Ohio Infantry, was killed at Stone River. The other, Commodore, was 
a Captain in the One Hundred and Ninety-second Regiment. One son, Levi 
N., was taken prisoner and starved to death in Andersonville. The other, Fran- 
cis, was a non-commissioned officer in the Twenty-third Regiment, and is at 
present a hardware merchant of Rome City. Capt. J. L. Drake participated 
in all the engagements of his regiment until the battle of Antietam. Three of 
his regimental officers became distinguished in the history of the United States, 
viz.: Ex-President Hayes, Major; Stanley Mathews, Lieutenant Colonel; and 
William Rosecrans, Colonel. Capt. Drake was severely wounded by shell in 
the left arm and side, from the effects of which he was mustered out in October, 
1862, and brevetted Major. He was elected Colonel of a Home Guards regi- 
ment, and was appointed Provost Marshal of the Fourteenth Congressional 
District, in which capacity he served until the close of the war. He was mar- 
ried, August 7, 1839, to Susan Hayward, of Cattaraugus County, N. Y. They 
have had twelve children — Francis M., David, Sarah, Ellen, Emily, Mary, 
Cora, James S., Newton, Fi-emont, Sherman and Jjack. Four are dead, viz.: 
David, Sarah, Newton and Sherman. The mother died April 23, 1877. Mr. 
Drake, in October, 1879, married Mrs. Harriet A. (Triplett) Filson. He came 
to La Grange in September, 1866, where he nas since been living retired. 

JAMES S. DRAKE, of Drake & Merritt, was born in Holmes County, 
Ohio, February 18, 1852, the son of Maj. J. L. Drake, whose biography 
appears in this volume. At the age of fourteen, he came with his parents to 
La Grange, and attended the schools of this place. In 1870, he entered Hills- 
dale College, but discontinued in time to take a two years' course in the law 
department of the University at Ann Arbor, graduating in 1874. Mr. Drake 
then entered the law office of J. D. Ferrall, continuing as partner until 1877, 
when he opened an office alone. In 1879, he formed a partnership with his 
former classmate, Francis D. Merritt, as Messrs. Drake & Merritt. Since their 
connection with the bar of La Grange County,, have had an increasing practice 
and now stand well up in their profession. In 1878, Mr. Drake was elected by 
the Republicans Prosecuting Attorney for the Thirty-fourth Judicial Circuit, 
and re-elected in 1880. January 2, 1877, he was united in marriage with Miss 
Amanda Clugston, daughter of John Clugston, of this county. 

EDWARD S. EDMUNDS, teacher, was born in Danby, Rutland Co., 
Vt., September 27, 1843, a son of Obidah and Miriam (Thompson) Edmunds, 
and the oldest of three children. When ten years old, his mother died, and 
nine years after the remainder of the family moved to Western New York. 


The winter of 1862-63, he completed his education at Ripley Academy, 
and the next summer went to Oil Creek, Penn., where, on the 10th of Septem- 
ber, 1864, he enlisted as able seaman in the naval service of the Upper Missis- 
sippi Squadron, United States steamer ''Victory" No. 33. He participated 
in a number of engagements and remained in the service until June 15, 1865, 
when he was discharged at Mound City, 111. He then returned to Cattaraugus 
County, N. Y., and engaged in farming. In 1866, he moved to Geauga County, 
Ohio, where, for two years, he engaged in cheese manufacturing, teaching 
wi'iting school winters. The fall of 1868, he went to Michigan, where, for 
three years, he remained farming and teaching. From there he came to this 
place, which has since been his home, with the exception of two years, when he 
was teaching in Adams County. While at this latter place, Mr. Edmunds 
began the study of the sciences, making a specialty of geology. In his re- 
searches in La Grange and other counties, Mr. Edmunds has made some valua- 
ble discoveries. In August, 1880, he was admitted into membership with the 
"American Association for the Advancement of Science." For two years he 
was Principal of the schools of Wolcottville. He is teaching at present in 
Allen, Hillsdale Co., Mich. He was married September 8, 1875, to Frank, 
only daughter of Elisha and Mai'garet Hicks. He is a Republican, and, in 
1880, was a candidate for County Superintendent. 

W. S. FAULKNER was born in Talbot County, Md., December 11, 
1836. He is a son of W. P. and Nancy (Pearson) Faulkner, who were natives 
of Maryland, and who moved to Springfield Township, this county, in 1837,^ 
where they engaged in farming, when all was woods with plenty of deer, wolves 
and other wild animals, while Indians were their nearest neighbors, and here 
resided until their respective deaths. Mr. Faulkner died in 1879, and Mrs. 
Faulkner in 1849. They were the parents of five children, all of whom are 
living. Our subject made farming his occupation until 1878, when he moved 
to La Grange, where he has since resided. In 1881, he sold his farm of 210 
acres, and the same year traded for town property. He is now owner and pro- 
prietor of what is know as the Bullock Foundry and Machine Shop. He was 
married in 1859, to Charlotte E. Sears, who was born May 23, 1837, in New 
York, and her parents were also old settlers of La Grange County. To this 
marriage have been born three children — Millard, William E. and Mary L. (de- 
ceased). Mr. Faulkner is a Republican, and he is an enterprising and influ- 
ential citizen. 

J. D. FERRALL, attorney at law, came to La Grange June 25, 1865, 
and entered upon the practice of his profession. In 1866, he was elected Pros- 
ecuting Attorney by the Republican party, performing the duties of that office 
until 1868. Since entering upon his professional duties here, Mr. Ferrall's 
business has gradually increased until now his services are sought from the 
neighboring counties, and the limits of the field in which he practices are scarce- 
ly circumscribed by the State lines. These facts attest his adaptability for his 
chosen profession, and the value placed upon his legal knowledge. 

R. L. GIBSON was born in Ashland County, Ohio, October 1, 1840; son 
of Jacob Gibson, a native of Maryland, and Mary (Gault) Gibson, whose birth- 
place was Washington County, Penn. They were parents of eight children — 
seven now living. The father was a fuller and cloth-dresser, and later a farmer. 
He is yet living in Ashland County, Ohio, but his wife died in August, 1874. 
R. L. Gibson was the youngest one of the family, and lived thirty-four years on 
the old place. He received a good education, and taught in the public schools 


to some extent. The spring of 1865, he came to La Grange County to visit 
relatives, and while here met Miss Catharine Herbert, eldest daughter of Ralph 
and Sarah (McKinley)- Herbert, who, on the 14th of February, 1867, became 
his wife. They resided in Ashland County, Ohio, until the spring of 1874, 
when they removed to La Grange. Mr. Gibson owns sixty acres of good land 
in Clay Township, which he farms, and about ten acres where he now resides. 
He is a Republican ; and he and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. 
They are the parents of one son — Martin Herbert Gibson. 

W. C. GLASGOW, attorney at law, was born in Auburn, N. Y., April 
28, 1842, and is a son of William and Eliza Glasgow, who are yet living at 
Hillsdale, Mich. W. C. was raised on a farm near this place, attending the 
district schools of his vicinity, and afterward the school at Hillsdale, from which 
he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He began the study of 
law with Hon. W. J. Baxter, of Janesville, and, the fall of 1865, entered the law 
department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, The year of his 
graduation (1867), he came to La Grange and began the practice of his profes- 
sion. Mr. Glasgow is a close student, and commands a lucrative legal business. 
He held the office of Prosecuting Attorney of La Grange County, from 1871 to 
1875, and, as Prosecutor, gave excellent satisfaction. He is a Republican, and 
is the present President of the School Board of Trustees. He was married in 
1870, to Miss Elora Wade, and both he and wife were members of the Presby- 
terian Church. Mrs. Glasgow died January 14, 1882, while on her way to 
Florida for her health. 

ROBERT H ANSLIP was born in Yorkshire, England, October 25, 1831 : 
son of John and Ann (Jackson) Hanslip, parents of eleven children, seven now 
living. John Hanslip was a blacksmith. He emigrated to America in 1836, 
and came to Mentor, Ohio, where he purchased the farm now owned by Gen. 
Garfield's widow. Through a mortgage he knew nothing of, he lost this prop- 
erty, and, in 1840, emigrated to Indiana, locating in Lima, afterward in Bloom- 
field Township. In 1843, he removed to Clearspring Township, where he 
remained farming until his death in 1863. His widow is yet living, and resides 
in Iowa. Robert was reared principally in La Grange County, and, when a 
young man, engaged in the stock business. In October, 1863, he enlisted, and 
served until his discharge in September, 1865. He participated in a number 
of engagements ; came back, and engaged again in the stock business. He 
married Miss Susan Irwin in 1855, and, in 1858, moved to La Grange. From 
1865 to 1879, he was engaged chiefly in buying and selling horses. The win- 
ter of 1881, he established his present meat market. To his union with Miss 
Irwin, there were born six children — Davis M., Alice E., John I. (deceased), 
Emma M., Robert E. and Ray L. The mother died October 4, 1880. Mr. H. 
is a Republican ; he is a member of the Presbyterian Church, as was also his 

HENRY M. HERBERT, Cashier of the First National Bank, is a son 
of Ralph P. Herbert, who was born in Fayette County, Penn., December 
11, 18i2, and when eight or nine years old moved with his parents to Rich- 
land County, Ohio, and from there emigrated to Lima Township, La Grange 
County, in 1835. R. P. Herbert married Miss Sarah McKinlay November 
25, 1841, they are the parents of four children — Catharine A. (now Mrs. R. 
L. Gibson), John E. (died in infancy), Henry M. and Sarah E. (now Mrs. R. 
Ellison). The mother was born June 11, 1819, in Livingston County, N. Y., 
a daughter of John and Sarah (Cameron) McKinlay. The Herbert family 


moved to Clay Township in 1854, and purchased the farm where they now 
reside, adjoining the town of La Grange. Mr. Herbert is one of the county's 
most substantial citizens. Henry M., the only living son, was born in Spring- 
field Township, February 15, 1852. He was reared on the home farm and 
received a good education. In 1870, he entered the literary department of 
Hillsdale College, Michigan, and in January, 1872, began a commercial course, 
graduating in about three months. Being a stock-holder in the La Grange 
County Bank, he was elected cashier; after this bank was merged into the First 
National he was elected cashier of that institution, which position he now fills. 
Mr. Herbert is a Republican in politics, and a member of the Presbyterian 

J. C. HEWITT, editor of the La Grange Register, was born in Cayuga 
€ounty, N. Y., August 15, 18-1:2, one of thirteen children, of George M. and 
Mary Ann (Farley) Hewitt. The father followed farming until his marriage, 
after which he engaged as railroad engineer. For the past twenty years he 
has been in the lumber trade, and both he and wife are yet living in Cohocton, 
N. Y. J. C. Hewitt resided with his parents until seventeen years old, after 
which he graduated from the Rogersville Union Seminary, at South Dansville. 
May 24, 1861, he enlisted in Company F, Thirty-fifth Regiment New York 
Volunteer Infantry, as private, and was discharged June 5, 1863. He partici- 
pated in the battles of Slaughter Mountain, Rappahannock Ford, Gainesville, 
second Bull Run, Chantilly, Grovetown, South Mountain, Antietam, and 
finished his army career at Fredricksburg. He was mustered out as Captain. 
Mr. Hewitt returned East, and for a time taught school, after which, for two 
winters, he was clerk of the Judiciary Committee of the New York Legisla- 
ture. He then read law and practiced his profession several years in Cohoc- 
ton. In 1871, he received an appointment as Inspector of Customs in the New 
York Custom House, filled that position two years, returned to Cohocton and 
•established the Cohocton Tribune. The fall of 1871 he sold out, and May 20, 
1876, came to La Grange and purchased a half-interest in the La Grange 
Register, of S. D. Crane, and on the 1st of the October following, purchased 
the other half He was married, May 1, 1866, to Miss Margelia Rathbun, 
and they had born one daughter — Grace. 

SAMUEL G. HOFF, of the firm of Hoff & Embrey, was born January 
17, 1847, in Richland County, Ohio, a son of M. and H. (Mowers) Hoff. 
The father was a cooper, and in 1847 came to Indiana, and in October, 1848, 
moved his family to La Grange County, and located at Wright's Corner, where 
■he engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1868, moved to Newbury Township, 
where he is yet living. His wife died in December, 1879. S. G. Hoff was 
only twenty months old when his parents came to La Grange County. He 
attended the Collegiate Institute at Ontario, and in the summer of 1868 
graduated from Eastman's Business College, of Poughkeepsie, N. Y. He then 
assisted his father on the farm and taught school until 1872, when he was 
elected and re-elected County Treasurer by the Republican party. He then 
purchased a farm of 80 acres near La Grange, on which he resided until the 
spring of 1881, when he, with H. F. Clark, established a meat market in La 
Grange. In September, 1881, Mr. Clark sold his interest to J. W. Embrey, 
the business continuing prosperous. Mr. Hoff was married in August, 1874, 
to Ruth E. Shaffer ; to them three children were born — H. Clyde, Freeman 
G. and James L. The oldest is dead. Mr. and Mrs. Hoff are members of the 
Lutheran Church. 


C. B. HOLMES was born in Newark, Licking Co., Ohio, December 3, 1822, 
one of seven children, four now living, born to James and Elizabeth (Wells) 
Holmes, who are both dead. The father was a merchant of Hebron, Ohio, in 
which he was assisted by Charles. In 1842, the latter came to Lima, then the 
county seat of La Grange County, where for two years he was employed in the 
offices of the County Clerk and Recorder. In 1844, he made a trip home, re- 
turning with a stock of goods and establishing the first store at La Grange, then 
but little else than an unbroken forest, being also one of the first settlers of the 
town, the first Postmaster and Justice of the Peace. Mr. Holmes followed va- 
rious kinds of business here until the spring of 1880, when he sold out and is 
now living retired. For nineteen years he was engaged in the drug trade, and 
for nine years Justice of the Peace. He has cleared up three or four farms, 
and erected a number of dwelling and business houses in La Grange. For 
eight years he was President of the County Agricultural Society. He is a 
Democrat, and for the past thirty years has been a Mason. His marriage with 
Miss Mary M. Rodman was solemnized in 1844, and to them were born Alice 
and Flora' B. The mother died in 1872, and Mr. Holmes married his present 
wife, Mrs. Hannah M. (Case) Ryason, in 1874. 

JOHN HOLSINGER, one of the old pioneers of Northern Indiana, now 
living in La Grange County, was born in Stark County, Ohio, January 9, 
1817. He is a son of William and Susann (Raum) Holsinger, who were of 
German descent. John Holsinger was raised on his father's farm, and in 1841 
emigrated to this county, located on the farm now owned by Levi Eshelman 
in Johnson Township, and cleared the greater part of it and resided there eight 
years. June 3, 1841, he married Eliza Sherman, whose parents were old set- 
tlers of Johnson Township. This lady died July 27, 1847, leaving three chil- 
dren — William, Angeline and Albert. Mr. Holsinger married his second wife, 
Mary Ann Stroman, December 25, 1847. To them were born Sylvester, 
John F., Francis F., Adrian, Dora and Ida, and two that died unnamed. The 
mother died July 11, 1871. September 19, 1871, he married Mrs. Susan 
(Denman) Nichols, who has borne two sons — Harry, deceased, and Walter H. 
In 1848, he sold his farm, and moved to Iowa ; the same year, returned and 
purchased a farm in Orange Township. At the end of eight or nine years, he 
had cleared about 200 acres, and, selling this, moved to another farm further 
west in the same township, buying 715 acres. In March, 1877, he moved to 
La Grange, living retired. He owns 315 acres of good land in Orange Town- 
ship, seventeen acres in Elkhart County, and over five acres where he now 
lives. When his children were ready to start in life for themselves, he gave 
each $2,000, which was just $2,000 more than he had to begin with. 

R. S. HUBBARD is a native of the city of New York, his birth occur- 
ring July 14, 1827. Capt. R. S. Hubbard, his father, followed the sea for 
a livelihood. He married our subject's mother, Susanna Gates, and the latter 
part of his life removed to Philadelphia, Penn., where he afterward died. R. S. 
Hubbard, Jr., was raised in the City of New York, and in Orland, Steuben 
Co., Ind. At the age of nineteen he began clerking at Angola, but afterward 
removed to Hillsdale, Mich., where he remained about fifteen months. In Sep- 
tember, 1849, he came to La Grange, and was employed as deputy in the offi- 
ces of the county officials. In 1853, he formed a partnership with Adams 
Knott, and established in trade at Lima. The fall of 1854, he and S. K. Ruick 
commenced business together in La Grange, which was carried on three years. 
In February, 1857, he married Susan M., daughter of Sidney and Eliza A. 


(Streator) Clark. This lady's father is now dead, but her mother is the pres- 
ent wife of Martin L. Punches. In 1857, Mr. Hubbard engaged in the drug 
trade at Ligonier, with Dr. Arnold, under the firm name of 0. Arnold & Co. 
Four years from the next summer, he was in mercantile pursuits in La Grange, 
after which he went to New York City and connected himself with a mercantile 
firm until 1871, when he returned to La Grange; July 17, 1872, he established 
the La Grange County Bank, the first banking establishment in La Grange ; 
May 19, 1873, he and Thomas J. Spaulding instituted the La Grange Bank, 
which continued until the fall of 1874, when, through the endeavors of Mr. 
Hubbard, a charter was obtained, and it was merged into the First National 
Bank. Mr. Hubbard is at present engaged in banking and mercantile pursuits 
in Michigan. He is a Republican in politics, and he and wife are members of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which denomination Mr. Hubbard is a lo- 
cal preacher. They are the parents of two children, viz.: Richard Clark and 
George K. 

L. D. HUGHES, hardware merchant, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, on 
Independence Day, 1839 ; one of twelve children born to Esrom and Rosanna 
(Shreve) Hughes. The father was a pioneer of Holmes County, having come there 
as early as 1825. L. D. Hughes received a good practical education, and April 
17, 1861, enlisted in Company H, Twenty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and 
was discharged in June, 1864 : with the exception of six days, he was always ready 
for duty. He participated in all the engagements with his regiment, and was 
wounded slightly at Giles Court House in West Virginia. On his return from 
the army, he commenced farming. April 19, 1866, he was married to Miss 
Ellen Drake, daughter of his Captain in the war, Maj. J. L. Drake. From 
ill health he gave up farming, and came West in 1867, locating at this point. 
For two years he followed clerking, and in 1869 established a hardware store. 
He carries a general stock, and does an average annual business of $15,000. 
Mr. Hughes cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, and still belongs to the 
Republican party. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal 

JOHN PAUL JONES, son of Phillip and Mary (Beam) Jones, was born 
in Westminster, Frederick (now Carroll) Co., Md., February 19, 1822. His 
great-grandfather, Phillip Jones, surveyed and laid out the city of Baltimore 
in the year 1731. His grandfather, Thomas Jones, was among the first Judges 
of the Orphans' Court of Baltimore County, and his father was one of the 
defenders of the city during the war of 1812. John Paul Jones was raised 
and resided in Westminster until fourteen years of age, and received a portion 
of his education from the private schools. In 1836, he removed with his 
parents to Bangor, Me., where his father engaged in mercantile business, 
our subject assisting in the store and attending the public schools. His father 
died in 1838, and in the spring of 1840 he returned to Baltimore and engaged 
in clerking. In October, 1840, he came to Fort Wayne, Ind., and entered 
his brother's office, Dr. Phillip G. Jones, who was then Clerk of the Allen 
County Circuit Court. Shortly after this he united with the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, and in 1842 was licensed to preach, and received into the Indi- 
ana Conference, then comprising the whole State, and appointed to the Steuben 
Circuit, with Rev. E. S. Blue preacher in charge. While pastor of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church of South Bend, Indiana, in 1848, he was taken ill, 
and retired from active ministerial duties. In 1849, he located in La Grange 
and engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1850, he was elected Representative 


to the State Legislature by the Whig party. By that party he was nominated 
Clerk of the La Grange Circuit Court in 1852, and was the only one on the 
Whig ticket elected. He was re-elected Clerk on the Republican ticket in 
1856, and in 1860 was elected Clerk of the Supreme Court of Indiana. He 
removed to Indianapolis and held that position four years, and in 1870 returned 
to La Grange. In 1872, he was elected County Recorder of La Grange 
County, and re-elected in 1876, his term of oflSce expiring November 10, 
1880, making for Mr. Jones a total of twenty-one years in official life. He is 
at present engaged in the practice of law in La Grange. He was married in 
1846 to Miss Aurelia Fobes, of Lima, Ind., and to them have been born six 
children, five of whom are yet living. 

J. H. LUTZ, of the firm of Miller & Lutz, was born near Fort Wayne, 
Ind., April 29, 1841 : son of Abraham Lutz, who was born in Lancaster 
County, Penn., in 1807. Abraham Lutz removed to Washington County, Md., 
in 1813, and at fifteen began learning blacksmithing. In 1835, he married 
Ann Maria Hunt ; in 1837, moved to Greene County, Ohio ; in 1839, to Allen 
County, Ind., where he worked at his trade and farmed. After clearing up 
a farm, he, in 1868, sold out and moved to La Grange, where he died Decem- 
ber 7, 1870, His widow is yet living in La Grange, and they were the parents 
of five children, all living. John H. Lutz is the third. He was reared in 
Pleasant Township, Allen County, until twenty years old, and in 1861 married 
Huldah Beck. He worked at wagon and carriage making, and in 1862 moved 
to Fort Wayne, where he took charge of the finishing department of an agri- 
cultural shop. His wife died in 1864, leaving him two children — Wesley and 
Henry, both deceased. In March, 1866, he married Ellen A. Varner, and in 
1868 moved to La Grange, where for two years he carried on wagon-making 
and blacksmithing. He then formed a partnership with J. R. Devoir, in the 
hardware trade, which continued four years, after which he sold agricultural 
implements for a time. In 1875, he entered into partnership with his present 
partner, J. A. Miller, in the furniture trade and undertaking. Mr. Lutz is 
one of our independent politicians, voting in all cases for the man instead of 
the party. He is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. and Encampment of La Grange, 
the Masonic fraternity and the K. of H. His wife is a member of the 
Lutheran Church, and they are the parents of two children — Mary B. and 

ROBERT McCLASKEY is the next oldest in a family of seven children. 
At manhood he married Hannah Durnnell, and in 1844 immigrated to La 
Grange. La Grange at that time was pretty much all woods, and with only a 
few houses. He traded for a quarter-section of land in Bloomfied Township, 
near the village, built a cabin in town, and began clearing and farming his 
property. He was in very moderate circumstances, and the hard labor all 
devolved upon him. Of the 160 acres he now has, one hundred were cleared 
principally through his own exertions. His wife died in January, 1849, having 
borne our subject five daughters — Rachel, deceased ; Juliann, Margaret J., 
Sarah R. and Nancy A. December 25, 1849, he married his present wife, 
Mrs. Hannah (Humiston) Durand, who came to La Grange County in 1834. 
To this union has been born two sons — Miles R. and John E. By her first 
husband, Amasa Humiston, Mrs. McClaskey had nine children, viz. : Edgar 
R., Lucilla E., Juliett, Henry, James, Jason, George, Ira and Susan Janette. 
Only these two are now living — Ira, who is in California, and George, avIio 
resides in La Grange County. Mr. McClaskey is an enterprising citizen, and 


has always favored the advancement of all laudable public enterprises. Polit- 
ically, Mr. McClaskey was formerly a Whig, tinctured a little with Free-Soilism. 
He is at present a stanch Republican, while his wife is a member of the M. E. 

JAMES H. McKIBBEN was born in Richland County, Ohio, 
November 5, 1833, son of James and Sarah (Smith) McKibben, who were 
parents of eight children and early settlers of Richland County Ohio. The 
father was a farmer, and in 1849 emigrated to this county, and engaged in 
farming. In 1863, moved to Goshen, where he died, December 10, 1876. Mrs. 
McKibben is yet living at that place. James H. McKibben was raised a 
farmer, and was married March 13, 1856. to Eliza R. Sargent, daughter of 
Daniel and Maria (Young) Sargent, who came to La Grange County from 
Cayuga County, N. Y., in 1842, and were among the early settlers of Bloom- 
field Township. Mr. McKibben continued farming in Bloomfield Township 
until August 6, 1862, when he enlisted in Company G, Eighty-eigth Regiment 
Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He participated in the battles of Perry ville, 
Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, through the Atlanta campaign, and 
was discharged at Indianapolis, July 5, 1865. Mr, McKibben returned and 
engaged in farming, at which he continued until 1876, when he rented his farm 
and retired. He is a Republican, and he and wife are members of the M. E. 
Church. They are the parents of two daughters — Clara and Bertha D. Mrs. 
McKibben was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., June 12, 1838. Mr. McKib- 
ben owns a farm of 120 acres in Bloomfield Township, on Section 32. 

FRANCIS D. MERRITT, attorney at law, was born October 17, 1849, 
in Cass County, Mich., the son of John S. Merritt, whose sketch appears in 
this work. He removed with his parents to Branch County, Mich., and from 
there to La Grange County, in 1860. He attended the schools of La Grange, 
Orland and Coldwater, and, in 1872, entered Hillsdale College. The latter 
part of 1873, he read law under James Galloway, Esq., of Hillsdale, after which 
he took a thorough course in the Law Department of the LTniversity at Ann 
Arbor, graduating in 1874, Mr. Merritt then went to Kansas and began 
practicing his profession, but in March, 1875, returned, opened an office, and 
resumed the practice. In 1879, he formed a partnership with James S. Drake. 
Mr. Merritt is a Republican, and in 1878 was elected President of the Town 
Board of Trustees, He was married January 3, 1877, to Miss Margie R,, 
daughter of John and Mary (Will) Rice. 

JOHN S. MERRITT was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., May 6, 1823, 
and when two years old emigrated with his parents to Toledo, Ohio, where he 
was reared and educated. Samuel Merritt, deceased, father of John S., was a 
native of Orange County, N. Y., his parents being among the first settlers of 
that county. This gentleman was three times married, his first two wives 
being cousins of Gov. Clinton, of New York. They each bore him three 
children, our subject being the youngest by his last wife, Nancy W. Saturly. 
Samuel Merritt came to Toledo in 1825, where he died. In 1842, John S. 
Merritt went to Cass County, Mich., and engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 
1847, he married Miss Mary Bull, and in 1852 removed to Branch County, 
Mich. Mrs. Merritt died there in March, 1853, leaving one son, Francis D., 
whose biography accompanies this work. January 1, 1857, Mr. Merritt mar- 
ried his present wife, A. H. Spaulding, daughter of Judge T. J. Spaulding, 
and in 1860 moved to this county and purchased a farm in Greenfield Town- 
ship, where he continued farming until 1866, when he was elected County 


Sheriff by the Republicans, and moved to La Grange. After his term of 
Sheriff had expired, he engaged in farming until 1874, when he took part in 
the organization of the First National Bank, and by the stockholders was 
elected President. Since that time Mr. Merritt has been engaged in banking, 
and after serving three and a half years as President was elected Vice Presi- 
dent, a position he still holds. To his union with Miss Spaulding were born 
three children — Mary, Etta and John. 

JOHN A. MILLER, furniture dealer, is a descendant of one of the very 
first settlers in La Grange County. He was born in Greenfield Township, 
September 16, 1836, and is a son of John and Naoma (Barr) Miller. In 1829, 
the family of Amos Barr and John Miller, whose wife was a daughter of Amos 
Barr, emigrated from Marion County, Ohio, to White Pigeon, Mich., where 
they lived until the next season, and then came to English Prairie, in Green- 
field Township, this county, and laid claim to land there not then in market. 
In 1830, they moved to this place, and were among the county's earliest set- 
tlers. Mr. Miller died the spring of 1837. John A. Miller passed his youth- 
ful days on the old farm, doing the duties of a pioneer boy's life. In 1857, he 
came to La Grange and engaged in the grocery trade a,bout five years. In 
1864, he and a number of others were sent South by the Government to do mechan- 
ical work, and on this expedition he learned house joining. He followed 
that trade until 1874, when ho, together with William H. Jackson, purchased 
the furniture stock of John Rice, and engaged in a general furniture trade and 
undertaking. In about a year, Mr. Miller retired from the firm and engaged 
in the same business alone. In 1875, he formed a partnership with his present 
partner under the firm name of Miller & Lutz. They erected their present 
business block in the fall of 1878. Mr. Miller was married in 1862 to Ellen 
M. Kinney, whose parents were among the old settlers of Lima Township. 
To this marriage there were born four children, viz. : Flora, Emma, Frank and 
Libbie. Mr, Miller is a Republican and a member of the Knights of Honor. 

SOLOMON C. MILLER, was born in St. Joseph County, Ind., Febru- 
ary 22, 1840, and is a son of David and Louisa (Connor) Miller, natives 
respectively of Pennsylvania and Ireland. David Miller was one of the 
earliest pioneers of St. Joseph County, Ind., settling at South Bend when 
there were only two business houses in the place. He was a farmer and also a 
minister of the Dunkard denomination. He entered land in St. Joseph County 
and remained there until his death, which occurred at North Liberty, November 
28, 1876. Solomon C. Miller received a good education and passed his youth 
on the home farm. In 1861, he enrolled in Company F, Twenty-ninth Indiana 
Volunteer Infantry, and served until the fall of 1862, when he was mustered out 
at Nashville, Tenn. After his return he clerked in a grocery and dry goods 
store at South Bend for about two and a half years, since which time he has 
principally been eagaged in the restaurant business at Detroit and Allegan, 
Mich., and Elkhart and La Grange, Ind. Of the last-named place he has been 
a resident seven years. He was married. May 10, 1868, to Miss M. McCor- 
mick, who was born in Allegan, Mich., August 5, 1852. She is a daughter of 
John P. and Josephine McCormick, the former a native of Virginia and the 
latter of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have a family of four children, 
Maud E., Edna J., Claude D. and Oral L. Mr. Miller is an experienced 
hunter, and makes annual hunting excursions to Michigan and the West. 

S. D. MOON was born in the State of New York April 19, 1834; son 
of Salma and Caroline (Morton) Moon, who were parents of eight children. 


seven of whom are now living. The mother died in 1863, but the father is yet 
living and resides in Wayne County, Mich. S. D. Moon, when but an infant, 
came with his parents to Wayne County, Mich., where he continued to reside, 
farming until 1866, when he moved to Kent County, Mich. Subsequently, he 
moved to La Grange, and formed a partnership with his brother, Charles K., 
in the manufacture of wagons and carriages, and wagon and carriage wood 
stock. In 1870, Samuel Parker was admitted into the partnership, which then 
became Moon, Bro. & Co. In 1874, Charles R. Moon retired from the firm 
which then became Moon & Co. In 1879, Mr. Parker withdrew, leaving Mr. 
Moon alone. Mr. Moon, does an average annual business of from $5,000 to 
$6,000. He is a Republican, and he and wife are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. He was married in 1855 to Sarah J. Dalrymple, and to 
them have been born two children — Adolphus D. and Eddie C, both of whom 
are now dead. Mrs. Moon was born July 15, 1837, in VVavne County, Mich. 

JACOB NEWMAN was born in Richland County, "Ohio, October 15, 
1832 ; son of Henry and Jane (Ward) Newman, natives of Pennsylvania and 
England, respectively, and parents of eight children, five only of whom are 
living. He is a grandson of Jacob and Catharine (Freyraeyer) Newman, his 
grandfiither being the first settler in Richland County, Ohio, and the founder 
of the city of Mansfield. Jacob Newman, when seventeen years old, moved 
with his parents to Williams County, Ohio. At the age of twenty-one, he 
returned to Mansfield, and for a year engaged in clerking. The firm by whom 
he was .employed and John Will purchased a stock of goods, and in 1851 sent 
them to La Grange in charge of Mr. Newman, who remained with them a little 
over two years. From 1856 to 1858, he was in partnership with Maj. Bingham 
in a general store, which was built by them. In 1857, Mr. Newman married 
Isabel Menelaus, who died in 1860, leaving one son — John H. In October, 
1861, he enlisted in Company H, Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, 
and was elected Second Lieutenant of his company. At the battle of Shiloh, 
April 6, while he was in the thickest of the fight, and during one of the most 
hotly contested engagements of the day, the color-bearer and supporter were 
shot down at the same time, and two others who immediately raised the colors 
were also shot down and the flag riddled with balls. Lieut. Newman bore it 
aloft but soon fell, mortally wounded, as was then supposed, and has never fully 
recovered from his wounds. During the remainder of the war, he was Deputy 
Provost Marshal and had charge of the enlistment roll. The Republican party 
elected him County Treasurer in 1861, and re-elected him in 1866. In 1869, 
he went into business with S. K. Ruick, and in 1871 he engaged in the marble 
trade with L. C. Wood; in 1873, formed a partnership with H. J. Piatt, which 
has continued successfully. The son by his first marriage died in 1862, and 
Mr. Newman married his present wife, Mary Menelaus, in 1863. To this 
union were born Mary, Jennie, Grace, Henry and Carl. Of these only Jennie 
and Carl are now living. Mr. Newman had two brothers who served in the 
Thirty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, one of whom was killed. 

DR. J. P. NIMAN, one of La Grange's oldest physicians, was born De- 
cember 7, 1828, in Mansfield, Ohio, the son of Henry and Harriet (Greer) 
Niman, who were parents of eight children. His youthful days were passed at 
home on the farm of his parents, and his educational advantages consisted in 
self-instruction at night-time. At his majority, he went to Henry County. Iowa, 
on a business visit. While there, he met and, in September, 1849, married 
Laura Dennison, after which he returned to Ohio and continued the study ol 


medicine in Richland and Crawford Counties. In September, 1852, he emi- 
grated with his family to La Grange, where he began the practice of his profes- 
sion. His wife died in 1857, leaving three children — Josephine, Laura and 
Charles H. In 1858, Dr. Niman married his second wife, Emily Oliver, and 
the same year removed to Missouri. In January, 1862, he entered the employ 
of the United States Government as physician and surgeon, but after about six 
months' service his wife died and he resigned. In 1862, he returned to La 
Grange and resumed his practice. To his marriage with his present wife, Jane 
Plats, there have been born three children — Alton, Jonas and George T. Dr. 
Niman is at present in partnership with his son, Charles H., who graduated 
from the medical school at Bellevue, New York City, in 1879. Dr. Niman, 
Sr., is a Republican, and one of the prominent citizens whose portraits appear 
in this work. 

T. F. FERINE was born July 3, 1844, in Lawrenceburg, Ind., one of six 
children. His parents, P. R. and Mary E. (Tucker) Ferine, moved to Indian- 
apolis, when he was but a child, where they are yet living. T. F. Ferine was 
reared and educated in Indianapolis. At the age of seventeen, having twice be- 
fore made the attempt, he ran away, and, August 9, 1862, enlisted in Company 
I, Sixty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He participated in the engagements 
of Rocky Face Ridge, Burnt Hickory, Resaca, Cartersville, Marietta and Ken- 
esaw Mountain, and in numerous skirmishes. He was shot by a rebel sharp- 
shooter, from the effects of which he lost all the muscles of his left hip and is 
still a sufferer from the wound. Shortly after his enlistment, he was appointed 
special detective at Gen. Carrington's headquarters, at Indianapolis, and for 
eighteen months was engaged in arresting rebel abettors and in breaking up 
meetings of the Knights of the Golden Circle. He had command of the troops 
at Indianapolis, and traveled over the State in the discharge of his duty. For 
three years each he resided in Chicago and Cincinnati in the real estate busi- 
ness. In 1874, he came to La Grange, soon afterward entering the County 
Recorder's office as Deputy ; after which, he commenced the insurance business 
and the prosecution of pension claims. He was married in September, 1868, 
to Miss Mary E. Jones, daughter of John Paul Jones. To their marriage have 
been born three children — Ida Mav, Perrie R. and Ethel. 

JOHN M. PRESTON was born in Lordstown, Trumbull County, Ohio, 
December 29, 1836, the son of James and Mary (Matthews) Preston, who were 
of Scotch and Irish descent respectively and the parents of eight children. 
The mother died when he was fifteen years old, and his father remarrying, they 
came to Bloomfield Township, this county, in 1854, where the father is yet living. 
On the 28th of July, 1862, John M. enlisted in Company G, Eighty-eighth 
Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was shortly after appointed Sergeant Major; 
February 18, 1863, was commissioned Second Lieutenant. For efficient serv- 
ices, he was promoted Captain of his company on the 1st of September, 1864. 
Capt. Preston participated actively in the engagements of Perryville, Stone 
River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and through the 
Atlanta campaign of 1864. He was mustered out in June, 1865, and returned 
to La Grange, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits. March 27, 1860, he 
married Maria Sargent, and in 1868 removed to Missouri, but in 1873 returned 
to La Grange and engaged in the insurance business. Mr. Preston is a Repub- 
lican, and by that party was elected Clerk of the town of La Grange in 1878 
and re-elected in 1879. The fall of 1880, he was elected Treasurer of La 
Grange County, in which capacity he is now serving. He and wife are parents 


of four children — Anna Bell, Grace M. (deceased), Maud B. and Daisy B. 
Mrs. Preston is a daughter of Daniel and Maria (Young) Sargent, -who were 
old settlers of La Grange County, and is a member of the M. E. Church. 

MAJ. JOHN H. RERICK, editor and proprietor of the La Grange 
Standard^ was born, "February 4, 1830, in Tippecanoe County, this State, the 
son of Henry and Elizabeth (Lamb) Rerick, natives respectively of New York 
and Indiana, the mother of English and the father of German descent. The 
latter died in 1876, in the seventy-second year of his age. John H., at the 
age of fifteen, began teaching school during winters. In 1851, he entered the 
Medical Department of the Michigan University at Ann Arbor, and graduated 
March 1, 1853. He then commenced the practice of his profession at Sump- 
tion Prairie, St. Joseph County, Ind., to which place his father's family had 
previously removed. December 2, 1853, he married Miss Elizabeth Green, of 
Sumption Prairie. The following spring he moved to Fort Wayne, where he 
was efiiciently active during the cholera plague of the following season. Jan- 
uary 20, 1855, his wife died, leaving an infant son, Louis, born January 6. 
The following spring he removed to South Bend, where the child died July 27. 
In the fall he went to Elkhart and was married. May 1, 1856, to Miss Maria- 
nette Devor. In 1859, he removed to La Grange. Here, at the commencement 
of the war of the rebellion, the doctor became active in the enlistment of soldiers, 
writing the first enrollment paper, which he now has in his possession, with the 
signatures of those enlisting. In August, 1861, he enlisted in the Thirtieth In- 
diana Infantry, but was soon commissioned as Assistant Surgeon of the Forty- 
fourth Regiment. This command took the field in Kentucky, where the Doctor 
was left in charge of the sick at Calhoun, but joined his command the 1st 
of March, 1862, near Fort Henry, participating in the two days' battle of Pitts- 
burg Landing, notwithstanding he was wounded the first day. He accompa- 
nied his regiment to Corinth, Booneville and to luka, Miss., where he was taken 
sick and sent home for a month. Joining his command, he participated in its 
movements and took part in the battle of Stone River. In February, 1863, he 
was again sent home hopelessly ill, but recovered sufficiently to enable him to 
return the 1st of April. In October, 1863, he was commissioned Surgeon of 
his regiment, which took part in the sanguinary battle of Chickamauga. Here 
the Doctor displayed enei'gy and judicious management in removing the wounded 
from the field-hospital and saving them from capture by the enemy. He served 
at Chattanooga until the close of the war and was mustered out in September, 
1865. The Doctor's war record is a bright page in his history. Entering as a 
private, promoted to Assistant Surgeon, then Surgeon, and serving four years 
with the command with which he entered the field, complimented by his com- 
manding officers, form a brilliant career. Returning to La Grange, he resumed 
the practice of medicine with Dr. E. G. White. In 1867, he purchased the 
Standard and entered upon his editorial duties. His politics are thoroughly 
Republican, and by that party was elected, in 1868, Clerk of the Circuit Court 
and re-elected, serving eight years. He was one of the founders and is now 
President of the Island Park Assembly Association, which has its grounds at 
Rome City. He is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. and he and his wife are mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They have three sons — Rowland H., 
born February 5, 1857; John D., July 1, 1860; and Carl, July 4, 1868. 

EDWARD ROYER was born in Stark County, Ohio, September 3, 
1836, a son of Jacob and Mary (Michael) Royer, now dead. Edward Royer 
was reared a farmer, receiving a common-school education. When nineteen 


years old, he began learning the harness maker's trade at Uniontown. In 1859, 
he came to Indiana ; in 1860, he entered the employ of the Government as 
manufacturer, at Pittsburgh. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, One 
Hundred and Fifteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry; was discharged July 7, 
1865, at Cleveland. August 24, 1865, he was married to Miss Lucy Sum- 
mers, daughter of John and Martha (Lee) Summers, of Covington, Ky. Mr. 
Royer at once moved to La Grange, where for two years he worked a journey- 
man at his trade, and in the winter of 1867 established himself in business. 
He and wife united with the M. E. Church in 1865, and in that year Mr. 
Royer assisted in the organization of the I. 0. G. T. He is also a member of 
the I. 0. 0. F. of La Grange. He and wife are parents of three children — 
Edward H., born November 30, 1870, died February 23, 1881 ; Frank L., 
born September 8, 1874, and Mattie B., born September 10, 1878, and died 
September 12, 1879. The mother was born near Covington, Ky., May 5, 

S. K. RUICK is a native of Guernsey County, Ohio, where he was born 
August 20, 1830, the son of Daniel and Mary Ruick. S. K. Ruick was 
reared in Hebron, Ohio, until nineteen years of age, and in 1849, he visited 
relatives at Lima ; then returned to Ohio, settled up his affairs and came again 
to Lima and engaged in the stock business. Through the summer of 1853, he 
was in the employ of Knott & Hubbard, in a general store ; he then took 
charge, for a year, of a store in La Grange for Mr. Knott ; was then in part- 
nership with R. S. Hubbard three years. In 1857, this firm, with Bingham k 
Newman, erected the block now owned by John Will, on the corner south- 
■east of the public square. After the dissolution of the firm of Hubbard & 
Ruick, in 1857, Mr. Ruick opened a dry goods store, but shortly afterward 
sold out. The spring of 1859, he erected another store building, and again 
engaged in the dry goods trade. In 1861, he sold his entire business interests 
in La Grange to Jewett, Morrison & Hill, and went to New York City, where 
for two and a half years he was employed selling goods. In 1864, he and fam- 
ily moved to Toledo, Ohio, where Mr. Ruick became a partner in a wholesale 
grocery house. He continued there until 1865, when he removed back to La 
G-range and engaged in farming. The fall of 1869, he and Jacob Newman 
engaged in the dry goods trade, but Mr. Newman's health failing shortly after- 
ward he withdrew. In 1870, Mr. Ruick erected the warehouse near the depot, 
and went into the produce and commission business. In 1873, he and William 
Hudson formed a partnership in the lumber trade, and the same year erected 
the La Grange Flouring Mills. In January, 1875, the partnership was dis- 
solved, Mr. Ruick continuing the lumber business for about two years, when he 
formed a partnership with his son. In 1877, they erected the planing-mill, 
which they operated until 1879, when the firm was dissolved. Since that time 
Mr. Ruick has been operating in real estate. He was married in January, 
1852, to Lucy A. Kinney, and they are the parents of three living children — 
Frank D., Flora M. and*^Etta E. 

J. M. SHACKLETON was born August 6, 1852, in St. Catharines, 
Ont., of Francis and Fanny (Johnson) Shackleton, who were parents of nine 
■children. Francis Shackleton was born in Wales, and there reared to manhood. 
When twenty-one years old, he emigrated to Canada, where he engaged in the 
milling business, and married our subject's mother. In 1867, he came to 
Ypsilanti, Mich., and still continued milling until May 7, 1880, when he was 
killed by an accident in his mill. His wife died in 1869, and he afterward 


married Harriet Lester. J. M. Shackleton began milling for himself at the 
age of eighteen, in Northville, Mich. In December, 1872, he returned to St. 
Catharines and entered the grocery trade, but owing to the financial panic, 
failed. He then went to Eastern Michigan and recommenced his trade. In 
1878, he came to La Grange, and was employed in the mill he now owns for 
about six months, after which he went to Independence, Mo, ; but at the end of 
eight months returned, and for a period of about eighteen months had charge of the 
Rome City Flouring Mills. In 1881, he formed a partnership in La Grange, 
under the firm name of Shackleton & Beach, and the fall of that year purchased 
the La Grange Mills. Mr. Shackleton was married in 1875 to Mary More- 
house, and they are the parents of one daughter — Lela M. Mr. Shackleton is 
a member of the Baptist Church, and a Republican. Mrs. Shackleton is a mem- 
ber of the M. E. Church. 

SAMUEL SHEPARDSON, County Auditor, is a son of Otis and Susann 
(Gibbs) Shepardson, who were natives of the " Green Mountain State," and 
the parents of seven children. About the year 1835, they emigrated to this 
county, locating in Springfield Township, then an almost unbroken wilderness, 
thus becoming early pioneers. Here the father died in 1844, and the mother 
in 1880. Samuel Shepardson was born in Springfield Township March 
19, 1839, and received a good education. September 24, 1861, he 
enlisted in Company G, Thirtieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, as private, 
and was discharged as Sergeant, September 29, 1864. He participated in the 
battles of Shiloh, Stone River, Chickamauga, and in the Atlanta cam- 
paign. He was taken prisoner at Stone River December 31, 1862, and re- 
mained in rebel hands at Knoxville and Libby three months, after which he 
was paroled and exchanged. He returned home, and January 1, 1868, he 
and Miss Martha J. Huss were married. She is a daughter of Elijah and 
Phebe (Hutchins) Huss, and was born June 5, 1849. They have had two 
children — Kit C. and Ella P. In 1868, Mr. Shepardson began working at the 
carpenter's trade, and in that year was elected County Treasurer as a Repub- 
lican. In 1870, he was re-elected, serving four years. In 1874, he was elected 
County Auditor, and having been re-elected, is now serving his second term of 
four years. Mr. Shepardson's career in private life, and as a soldier and a 
county official, stamps him as a representative citizen, and the appreciation of 
his sterling worth by the people of the county is shown in their continuing him 
in official position. 

DRS. W. H. and J. L. SHORT, physicians and surgeons, sons of 
Thomas Short, of Eden Township. The father was born in Pennsylvania 
April 8, 1820. His parents, James and Frances (Gilbert) Short, were natives 
of Ireland, and when but a boy he came with them to Ohio, where his father 
died. In 1841, he came west on foot, and purchased eighty acres of land in 
Eden Township, and upon which he effected a permanent settlement the same 
year; and January 13, 1842, married Margaret Larimer, who died September 
28, 1877, the mother of eleven children, nine of whom are yet living. Mr. 
Short married his present wife, Mrs. Mary Murray, in 1880. He is a Demo- 
crat, and a member of the Presbyterian Church. Dr. William H. Short was 
reared a farmer. He attended the Collegiate Institute at Ontario two years, 
and was one year at Adrian, Mich. He read medicine under Dr. Bartlett 
Larimer — his mother's brother — and attended his first course of lectures at Ann 
Arbor the winter of 1866-67. He graduated the term of 1868-69, after 
which he came to La Grange, where he has since practiced his profession. 


Dr. John L. Short, a native of Eden Township, finished his literary educa- 
tion at Ontario. He began the study of medicine, in 1867, under Dr. Larimer. 
The season of 1868-69, he took a course of lectures at Ann Arbor, and graduated 
from that college the winter of 1872-73. The next year he studied with his 
brother, and the winter of 1874 attended a course of lectures at the Miami 
Medical College and Hospital in Cincinnati. While in Ann Arbor, he received 
a special diploma on Physical Diagnosis. He and brother are well schooled in 
their profession, and command a lucrative practice. 

ALBERT F. SKEER, mechanic, was born in Butler County, Penn., March 
29, 1834, son of Eli and Mary A. (Dugan) Skeer (see biography of Thomas J. 
Skeer). Albert F., in 1850, removed to Hebron, Licking Co., Ohio, learned 
the cabinet-maker's trade with his brother Thomas J., and in 1852 purchased 
his brother's interest in the business, after which he continued it alone for six 
years. In 1858, he came to La Grange, where he has worked at carpentering. 
Mr. Skeer is a skilled workman, and has erected some of the finest buildings in 
this and adjoining counties. For two years he was engaged on the new court 
house in La Grange, during which time he lost only seven working days. He 
has been for many years a member of Meridian Sun Lodge, No. 76, A., F. & 
A. M.., of which he has been W. M., and at present is its Treasurer. He 
served in both the J. W. and S. W. stations, and has also represented his lodge 
at the Grand Lodge. Mr. Skeer was married December 25, 1855, to Hannah C. 
Brown, a native of Licking County, Ohio, one of six children born to Peter and 
Hannah (Flinn) Brown, both natives of Virginia. Mr. Skeer and wife are 
parents of seven living children — William H., Thomas K., Adolphus G., 
George P., Albert F., Carrie B. and Harry. Mr. Skeer is a Democrat. 

THOMAS J. SKEER was born in the "Keystone State," March 28, 
1818, one of nine children born to Eli and Mary A. (Dugan) Skeer, seven of 
whom are living. Thomas J. Skeer received but an average education in youth, 
and early in life learned the carpenter's trade, which was also his father's. In 
1840, he went to Hebron, Licking County, Ohio, where he engaged in carpen- 
tering, cabinet-making and undertaking. In December, 1846, he was married to 
Sarah Taggart, who was born in New Jersey April 10, 1819. In May, 1856, 
Mr. Skeer removed to La Grange. He has been employed over La Grange 
and neighboring counties in the erection of some of the finest buildings. For 
a number of years, he has been employed in Chicago during the summer months, 
and during the war was employed at his trade in the South by the Government. 
He and wife have had born to them six children — Frances, John, Thomas, 
Belle, James and Florence. Mr. Skeer is one of the reading citizens of La 
Grange, and is enterprising and thoroughgoing. 

WILLIAM S. SMITH, dentist, is a native of Licking County, Ohio, 
where he was born September 10, 1850. He is the son of Harrison and 
Margaret Smith, the former of whom was born in Wheeling, W. Va., 
October 16, 1816, and the latter in Licking County, Ohio, May 8, 1825. The 
subject came with his parents to La Grange, Ind., in the fall of 1858, where he 
has since remained, with the exception of eighteen months, during which time 
he was engaged in practicing dentistry at White Pigeon, Mich., returning to 
La Grange on the 1st of January, 187 9. Mr. Smith first began the pursuit 
of his present vocation in the fall of 1875, and, although, quite a young man, 
by careful attention to business, he has built up a large and lucrative practice. 
He is the only resident dentist of La Grange, and his oflice is located on the 
corner of Detroit and Spring streets. 


J. FRANK SNYDER, editor La Grange Democrat, is a native of Richland 
Oountj, Ohio, and was born December 14, 1851. He is a son of David and Leigh 
(Browneller) Snyder, who were what is known as Pennsylvania Dutch, but of 
German descent. The father died in 1872, but the mother is yet living, and 
resides in Kosciusko County, Ind. They were parents of nine children. J. F. 
Snyder came with his parents to Kosciusko County in 1852, and was there 
raised on a farm to manhood. He attended the district schools of his neigh- 
borhood and finished his literary education in the high school at Pierceton. 
From the time he was sixteen years old, he taught school winters, and worked 
on the farm summers, until 1873, when he entered the employ of the Pittsburgh, 
Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad in the capacities of station agent and telegraph 
operator. In 1876, he connected himself with the Columbia City Post as local 
editor and general assistant. After nine months, he severed his connection 
with that periodical, and in April, 1877, established the Princeton Free Press. 
In September, 1878, he started the Adams County Union, at Decatur, and in No- 
vember, 1879, he moved to La Grange and established the La Grange Demo- 
crat. [See History of the Press of La Grange County.] Mr. Snyder was married 
in September, 1877, to Gertrude Hoover, and he and wife are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Snyder is a Democrat, and a member of the 
I. 0. 0. F. of La Grange. 

EDWARD B. SPEED, M. D. (deceased), was a son of Henry Speed, and 
was born at Troy, N. Y., September 7, 1825. He learned the carpenter's trade 
when a young man, and afterward taught school to pay his way through medi- 
cal college at Geneva, N. Y., from which he graduated, and then practiced in 
his native State eighteen months. The fall of 1856, he was united in marriage 
with Esther M. Cornell, and the next spring came to this town, where he soon 
obtained a large and lucrative practice. Dr. Speed, in 1864, was commissioned 
Assistant Surgeon of the Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Soon after 
his arrival at the front, he was taken ill with a complication of disorders, which 
resulted in his death. He was an honored and respected citizen, a member of 
the M. E. Church and the I. 0. 0. F., and a Republican in politics. Mrs. 
Speed, the widow, was born January 3, 1832, and to her marriage with Dr. 
Speed were born two children — Alice I. and Emma E. Under Gen., Grant's 
administration in 1869, Mrs. Speed was appointed Postmistress of La Grange, 
a position which she has since retained with satisfaction, assisted by her brother, 
C. G. Cornell, as Deputy. 

NELSON STACY, ex-Sheriflf. Wareham Stacy was a native of Vermont, 
and a widower with six children at the time of his marriage with Mrs. Sabra 
Bennett, a widow, also with six children ; she was a native of the State of New 
York, and to them was born one son, the subject of this sketch. The father 
was a farmer, and died November 14, 1850, followed by his widow August 28, 
1865. Nelson Stacy was born November 29, 1829, in Clark County, Ohio. 
He was raised a farmer. In 1850, he came to this county, where two half-broth- 
ers were living, and April 15, 1852, married Laura R. Anderson, daughter of 
John and Mary (Gage) Anderson, who were among the early settlers of Steuben 
County. Mr. Stacy then farmed in Lima Township, where he first settled, un- 
til 1876, when he was elected County Sheriff" as a Republican, and re-elected in 
1878. Since the expiration of his second term, Mr. Stacy has been living retired 
in La Grange. They have eight children — Mary, John, Mahlon, Ann A., Sa- 
bra, Frank, Elias and Clara ; all living except Ann Adell, who died when an 
infant. Mrs. Stacy was born February 1, 1835, in Chautauqua County, N. Y. 


EDWIN TEMPLE, County Sheriff, was born in Orleans County, N. Y., 
December 23, 1840, the son of Luther and Sarah (De Forrest) Temple, natives 
of New York State, and the parents of four children, two of whom are living. 
In 1847, the family emigrated to Milford Township, where they had friends. 
Here Luther Temple began farming, but, in 1848. died of lung fever, followed 
by his widow in 1854. He was a jovial man, and commanded the respect of 
his acquaintances. Edwin, after the death of his mother, began life for himself. 
July 24, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-first Indiana Volunteer In- 
fantry, and was discharged at Baton Rouge January 10, 1866. After his en- 
listment, he was transferred to the First Indiana Heavy Artillery, serving in 
the Department of the Gulf, and was in the engagements of Baton Rouge, Port 
Hudson, New Orleans, and with Gen. Butler in his movement up the Red 
River. After the war, he returned home and engaged in farming. In the fall 
of 1880, he was elected Sheriff by the Republican party, which position he now 
fills. He was married February 1, 1873, to Miss Mary Ream, daughter of 
Phillip and Elizabeth (Hoofer) Ream, who was born in Seneca County, Ohio, 
October 17, 1847. They are the parents of one son — Phillip. 

J. C. TIDRICK, grocery merchant, was born in Bloomfield Township 
February 15, 1841, and is a son of Jacob and Sarah (Rathburn) Tidrick, who 
were among the old settlers of Bloomfield. [For further particulars regarding 
his father, Jacob Tidrick, see the biographical department of Bloomfield Town- 
ship.] J. C. Tidrick was reared on his father's farm until twenty-two years of 
age, and received a good common-school education. In 1864, he began his 
business career in La Grange, at the grocery trade. The winter of 1864, he 
sold out to King & Rice, and January 1, 1866, he again embarked in the same 
business m La Grange, under the firm name of Tidrick & Selby. Owing to 
the death of Mr. Selby, Mr. Tidrick sold the entire stock to W. T. Parry the 
spring of 1868, and the following August went to Kansas. In 1872, he came 
back, and again embarked in the grocery trade, at which he has since con- 
tinued. Mr. Tidrick has been successful as a business man, and is enterprising 
as a citizen. He is a Republican, is married and has a family. 

F. M. VEDDER, groceryman, was born in Elkhart County in March, 
1843, son of Adam and Sarah Vedder, who were parents of four children. 
His mother died Avhen he was about eighteen months old, and shortly after- 
ward his father married again, and moved to Wisconsin, where he died during 
the war. After the death of his mother, F. M. Vedder was bound out to John 
Thompson, now of Eden Township, until he was eighteen years old. He was 
enrolled a member of Company C, Thirtieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, 
August 27, 1861, and discharged December 12, 1863. He participated in the 
engagements of Perryville, Pittsburg Landing, and all the engagements of his 
regiment until the 31st of December, 1862, when the battle of Stone River 
commenced. On this day he was wounded four times severely, and left within 
the rebel lines, without food or shelter, until January 2, 1863, when the enemy 
was driven from the field. Mr. Vedder was then sent to the hospital at Nash- 
ville, when, being unfit for further service, he was discharged. He lived with 
Mr. Thompson, in Eden Township, for upward of two years, during which 
time he attended the district schools and the Collegiate Institute at Ontario. 
The spring of 1866 he moved to La Grange and engaged in different kinds of 
employment. For two years was Deputy Revenue Assessor, and the last year of 
this time was Deputy Revenue Collector. He was also Deputy County Treasurer 
under Treasurers Newman and Shepardson. He was married, November 10, 


1869, to Miss Mary E. Wade, and to them have been born three children — 
Charles B., Frank J., deceased, and John N. In 1874, Mr. Vedder and 
Joseph B. Wade engaged together in the grocery trade, but in June, 1875, 
Mr. Vedder sold out his interest, and July 27, 1875, embarked in the same 
business alone. He is a Republican. His brother, George W., was in the 
same company and regiment with Mr. Vedder. 

JOSEPH B. WADE, attorney at law, was born in Harrison County, Va., 
April 11, 1826, the youngest of two children born to Samuel and Mary (Bizzard) 
Wade, his mother dying when he was only nine months old. His father afterward 
married Margaret Michael, and finally died in Marion County, Ohio. The fall of 
1829, Mrs. Wade and her two step-children came with Benjamin Jones to what 
is now Greenfield Township, among the first settlers. They located at what is 
now the village of Lexington, where our subject received such education as the 
county schools afforded. He began the study of law in 1846, and at the same 
time assisted on the farm. In 1852, he engaged in mercantile pursuits in La 
Grange, continuing three and a half years. He was then employed by the 
Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company for one year, as Director and 
Stock Solicitor. In November, 1857, he was admitted to the bar. He is a 
member of the A., F. & A. M., and has been W. M. of the Meridian Sun 
Lodge, No. 76, four years. Mr. Wade is also a member of La Grange Chap- 
ter, No. 36, R. A. M. He was married April 7, 1846, to Louisa J. Warner, 
daughter of Eliphalet and Edith (Gray) Warner, and a native of Ashtabula 
County, Ohio. To them have been born eight children ; four are yet living — 
Cyrus U., Mary M., Charlie C. and Carrie B. The first-named read law under 
his father, was admitted to the bar, and practiced in La Grange. He was 
elected and served two terms in the Thirty-fourth Judicial Circuit as Prosecut- 
ing Attorney. He married Miss Mary Will, and in the spring of 1880 en- 
tered the Methodist Episcopal ministry, and is now located at Roann, Ind. 
Charlie C. married Miss Maggie Will, purchased his brother's interest in 
law. and is now practicing with his father under the firm name of Wade & 

HON. E. W. WEIR was born March 12, 1813, in Washington County, 
N. Y., of Samuel and Sarah (Woods) Weir, who were natives of that State. 
Samuel Weir was a soldier of the war of 1812, and his wife's father was a 
Revolutionary soldier. In 1836, E. W. Weir immigrated to La Grange County. 
The fall of 1836, he settled on part of Section 24, in Bloomfield Township. 
Mr. Weir disposed of this property in 1837 to his mother, but it is now in 
possession of Norman Weir. Mr. Weir then moved to Milford Township, 
where he farmed until his removal to La Grange. In 1852, he was elected 
County Treasurer by the Democrats, and served four years ; then engaged in 
farming. On the repeal of the Missouri Compromise Bill, Mr. Weir became 
a Republican, and was elected to the State Senate, serving in the sessions of 
1878 and 1879. He was identified with the organization of the First National 
Bank of Lima in 1865. He has been three times married, first to Miss Amy 
A. Hern, daughter of William Hern. This lady died in 1847. leaving three 
children, two of whom are now .living — John and Emily. In 1849, he married 
his second wife, Mrs. Savilla Rice, daughter of A. E. Durand, and widow of 
Dewitt Rice. This lady died in 1855, leaving one daughter, Sarah, who is 
yet living. Mr. Weir's present wife was Mrs. Abigail W. Cowley, widow of 
E. D. Cowley, and daughter of Elisha White. This lady had a family by her 
first husband, and is in every respect a helpmeet for Mr. Weir. 


E. G. WHITE, M. D., was born in Wayne County, N. Y., March 22, 
1830 ; a son of Ira and Jane G. (Rennie) White, natives of Vermont and the 
city of New York respectively. Soon after the birth of our subject, his mother 
died, and at the age of twelve his father died. He had come to Maumee City, 
Ohio, with his father in 1836, where he lived until thirteen years old, when he 
returned to the State of New York. In 1845, he returned to Maumee City, 
where he became a printer. In 1847, he went to Columbus, and for nearly 
four years worked in the offices of the State Journal and Ohio Statesman. The 
summer of 1850, he visited his native State, and that winter began the study of 
medicine. He attended the Starling Medical College in Columbus, and received 
instructions from such men as Profs. Childs, Howard, Moore, Judkins, et al. 
After his graduation in February, 1854, he practiced for a time in Licking 
County, Ohio. In July, 1857, he came to this town. Immediately after the 
battle of Stone River, in 1863, Dr. White received a telegram from Gov. Mor- 
ton to gather as many surgeons as possible and report for special duty al Nash- 
ville and Murfreesboro. After attending to this, he contracted as Acting Assist- 
ant Surgeon, and remained until the close of the war. For the past thirteen 
years, he has been Examining Surgeon of applicants for pensions, and is also 
the present examiner of the K. of H., and a number of insurance companies. 
Dr. White and Agnes R. Murch, of Licking County, Ohio, were married in Oc- 
tober, 1856, and are the parents of two living children — Ira and George M. Dr. 
White is one of the Trustees of Bloomfield Township. He and wife are mem- 
bers of the Presbyterian Church. 

JAMES H. WIGTON is the son of William Wigton, deceased, who was 
born in Tompkins County, N. Y., November 18, 1817, son of William and 
Elizabeth (Mushback) Wigton, of Scotch descent. William Wigton, Sr., was 
a Major in the regular army and the war of 1812. William Wigton, Jr., in 
about 1839, married Emily Holmes, daughter of Capt. James and Elizabeth 
(Wells) Holmes, and sister of C. B. Holmes. Capt. Holmes was a State Sur- 
veyor, and in 1831 or 1832 entered 7,000 acres of land in La Grange and 
Noble Counties. A short time before his death, he called his children around 
him and divided this property among them, Mrs. Wigton, for her share, getting 
640 acres, Section 14, in Clay Township. Upon this woodland, in a cabin they 
had erected, Mr. and Mrs. Wigton settled in 1843. In March, 1849, Mr. Wigton 
started overland for California with a company of others, and on the journey 
all were killed by the Indians or died of disease excepting himself and David 
Smith. Mr. and Mrs. Wigton resided on the old place in Clay Township until 
February, 1865, when they sold it, and started East for the benefit of Mrs. 
Wigton's health. Arriving at Hebron, Ohio, the birthplace of Mrs. Wigton, 
she became worse and died there. Mr. Wigton, after this, continued on to 
Accomack County, Va., where he died in August, 1868. They were parents 
of seven children, only three — James H., Robert and Mary — now living. James 
H. was born in Hebron, Ohio, March 27, 1843, and came with his parents to 
La Grange County. He was married in 1872 to Miss Florence, daughter of 
Henry 0. and Caroline M. (Smurr) Belding, and to this union is born one son 
— Martin K. Mr. Wigton owns 160 acres of land in Clay Township, and 
the only cooper-shop in La Grange. 

FRED. B. WOOD, M. D., physician and druggist, was born in the State 
of New York in 1844, to Arthur and Sarah (Farnham) Wood. He was left 
an orphan when eight years of age, his father having died when he was but 
three. At the age of two years, De Kalb County, Ind., became his home. By 


saving his wages he was enabled to attend Hillsdale College the years of 1857 
and 1858. In June, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-ninth Indiana 
Volunteer Infantry, and was the second person to enlist for three years from 
De Kalb County. He was in the battles of Shiloh, Perryville, Stone River, 
Liberty Gap and Chickamauga. At Stone River he was wounded slightly in 
the head, and the last day of the fight at Chickamauga, September 20, 1863, 
he was taken prisoner and conveyed to Richmond. He was first incarcerated 
in Scott's Prison, afterward in Royster, Pemberton and Belle Isle. February 
22, 1864, he was taken to Andersonville, and was in the first squad of troops 
to enter this Golgotha. September 7, 1864, he was removed to the prison at 
Savannah, Ga. ; October 3, 1864, he was transferred to Milan, and from there 
back to Savannah, where he was exchanged November 21, 1864, being exactly 
fourteen months in rebel prisons, where he endured more than the sufferings of 
death. In the spring of 1865, he attended Hillsdale College, after which he 
continued his medical studies at Angola. In October, 1865, he went to Belle- 
vue and attended lectures, and the next year began practicing in Big Rapids, 
Mich. In 1871, he graduated from the Rush Medical College in Chicago. 
After attending a course of lectures at Fort Wayne, he graduated from that 
school in 1879. In the spring of 1881, came to this place and engaged in 
practicing and the drug trade. Was married, July 22, 1865, to Mary J. Sar- 
gent, who has borne him two sons, J. Fordyce and Plionso S. 


WILSON ALDRICH, a native of Ontario County, N. Y., born October 
9, 1830, is the elder of two children living, in the family of Aaron and Sally 
(Purchase) Aldrich, both natives of Ontario County, N. Y. The subject's 
mother died in 1838, and his father married Nancy Pratt, a native of New 
York, and in 1871 went to Ludington, Mason Co., Mich., where he is yet a 
resident. Wilson Aldrich passed his youth on his father's farm, and received 
a common-school education. In December, 1851, he went to California, via 
New York and Nicaragua, and met with moderate success there. Returning to 
New York in 1853, he remained until June of the following year, when he 
came and purchased 160 acres of his present farm in this township. In the 
fall of 1854, he went to Hillsdale, Mich,, and was there married October 9, 
same year, to Miss Catherine Whitbeck. After visiting several points of inter- 
est in New York, they returned in December to their home in this township. 
Mr. Aldrich is a Democrat and a prominent farmer. He owns 309 acres of 
land, and has a family of five children, viz.: Frank J., Florence E., now Mrs. 
J. F. Summerlin, Fannie A., Eva B. and Burton A. Mrs. Aldrich was born 
April 8, 1832, in Wayne County, N. Y., and was one of six children born to 
Thomas J. and Lois (Allen) Whitbeck, natives of New York. 

IRA W. BROWN, is the son of Abijah and Maria (Shoff) Brown. His birth 
■occurred March 25, 1824, near Oxford, N. Y., and in 1838 he went to Bellevue, 
Huron Co., Ohio, with his parents. From the age of seventeen to twenty-one, he 
worked as an apprentice in the carriage and wagon manufactory of his father, 
afterward assuming the management for one and one-half years, when he bought 
his father's interest, and continued the business alone. In about 1847, he and 
h.\% father purchased a farm in Sandusky County, Ohio, where Ii'a W. removed 


about two years later. He continued his trade, and manufactured a number 
of wagons that were taken overland to California during the gold excitement 
there. In the winter of 1854-55, Mr. Brown emigrated to this county, and 
after the arrival of his family in the spring, settled in this township. After 
his arrival here, he operated a steam saw-mill in Johnson Township, in partner- 
ship with his father, and brother Jacob. The two latter subsequently sold out 
to Ira W., who continued the business until 1866. In 1865, he moved onto 
his farm of 160 acres in this township, and has retained most of the timber on 
the land. In 1870, he built a saw-mill which he has since operated. Mr. 
Brown, in 1848, August 16, married Julia P. Lamson, whose birth occurred 
January 10, 1831, in Chenango County, N. Y. Her parents were Orson and 
Betsey (Shoif) Lamson, natives of New York. Mr. Brown is a member of 
A., F. & A. M. They have had six children; four are living — Llewellyn 
A., Clifford J., Louise B., now Mrs. Samuel Weir, and Ellsworth I. Mr. 
Brown is a leading farmer and lumber dealer, and has one of the finest 
residences ia the township ; his land is well cultivated and improved with good 
substantial buildings. 

HON. JOHN Y. CLARK, deceased, was the son of Isaac and Patience 
(Young) Clark, both of New Jersey, where the subject was born September 26, 
1806, in Sussex County, and where he was married, December 11, 1826, to 
Hester H. Westbrook. She also was a native of Sussex County, born in 
1809, the 4th of April. In 1829, he emigrated to Steuben County, N. Y., 
journeying to this township in 1836, where he purchased a tract of 160 acres 
of timbered land. Their nearest neighbors were two miles distant. Mr. 
Clark, with the assistance of his sons, soon had his farm cleared and improved. 
He served his township as Justice of the Peace, and was elected, in 1846, to 
the Lower House of the Indiana State Legislature by the Whig party, of which 
he was a leader. Mr. Clark died at his home in this township, owning at that 
time 240 acres of land. He was a man that inspired the esteem and respect of 
all. His wife died May 7, 1878. They had ten children; those living are 
Phoebe, now Mrs. Van Kirk; Abraham W.; Patience, now Mrs. Thompson ; 
Martha, now Mrs. Draggoo ; Eleanor J., now Mrs. Newell ; Hester H., now 
Mrs. Malone, and William J. Abraham W. has been a member of the Merid- 
ian Sun Lodge, No. 76, A., F. & A. M., for more than twenty years, and has 
represented that order at the Grand Lodge several times ; he is also an R. A. 
and S. M. Mason. Himself and brother, William J., own and live on the old 
homestead, and are both among Bloomfield's leading citizens. 

SPENCER I. CLEAVELAND, miller, born May 10, 1823, in Onondaga 
County, N. Y., is the son of Asaph and Polly (Hawks) Cleaveland, who had a 
family of seven children. Asaph Cleaveland was born October 26, 1785, in 
Connecticut, and his wife August 23, 1787, in Massachusetts. The former 
served in the war of 1812, and followed farming throughout life. In 1838. he 
came to this county, settling in Greenfield Township, and removed to Steuben 
County, Ind., in 1840, where he died in January. 1847. Mrs. Polly Cleave- 
land was a Presbyterian ; died in April, 1846. Spencer Cleaveland received 
a fair education, and in 1840 went to Ontario County, N. Y.; was employed 
in farm work six years, then came to Steuben County, Ind., and bought eighty 
acres of land. He was married in New York August 29, 1847, to Miss Pau- 
lowna L. Wilmarth, whose birth occurred August 11, 1823, in Victor, Ontario 
Co., N. Y. Her parents were Otis and Sophronia (Boughton) Wilmarth, 
natives of New Jersey, the former born December 8, 1792, and the latter 


October 11, 1795. In 1853, Mr. Cleaveland came to this county and bought 
a farm of 120 acres, which he sold in 1854, and returned to Steuben County, 
and purchased 100 more acres there. In 1857, he bought a flouring-mill near 
there, which he operated until November, 1858, when it was destroyed by fire. 
Mr. Cleaveland exchanged his farm, in 1861, for the one upon which he now 
lives in this township. He was a member of the Regulator organization ; is a 
stanch Republican, and was elected Township Assessor and Real Estate Ap- 
praiser in 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Cleaveland have only one son living — Llewel- 
lyn S., who is a resident of Denver, Colo. 

SAMUEL CLINE is a native of Richland County, Ohio, and next to 
the youngest of nine children born to William and Ellen (Gibbeney) Cline — 
the father a native of Pennsylvania, and the mother of Ohio. They died in 
this township, where they came in 1854, and purchased 320 acres of land ; 
his death occurred in 1871, and hers in September, 1881. December 22, 
1858, Samuel Cline and Mary A. Olmstead were married, and the following 
two years he was engaged in farming for his father on shares. In the spring 
of 1861, he bought eighty acres of land in this township, where he lived four 
years, then bought the farm of eighty acres where he is living. Mrs. Cline is 
a native of this county, born February 9, 1843. Mr. Cline's birth occurrr-d 
on the 4th of March, 1836. Thev have had five children — Calvin W., Harvey 
0., William, who died March 9, "1868, Perley M. and Mary E. Mr. Cline is 
an enterprising farmer and stock-dealer. Mrs. Cline is the daughter of Har- 
vey and Mary A. (Gage) Olmstead. 

WILLIAM A, CLINE was born in Richland County, Ohio, August 
8, 1830 ; is the son of William and Ellen (Gibney) Cline. His father 
was born in 1794, in Huntingdon County, Penn. ; was married in Richland 
County, Ohio, where he purchased a farm of 237 acres, improved the same and 
in June, 1854, emigrated to Indiana. In this township he bought 320 acres of 
land, and resided until his death, October 2, 1871. Mrs. Ellen Cline, a native 
of Washington County, Penn., was born July 22, 1799, and died August 26, 
1881. William Cline, the subject, spent his youth at the home of his parents, 
and four years after attaining his majority farmed the old homestead on shares. 
January 14, 1856, he was united in marriage to Mary E. Spears, and the same 
year bought 80 acres of his present property, which now consists of 255 acres 
of land, under good cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Cline have four children living, 
Mary J., Frank B., Nellie E. and Rachael L. Mrs. Cline is the daughter of 
Tunice and Mary J. (Scoville) Spears, and was born in Springfield Township, 
this county, January 17, 1840. Her father's birth occurred in May, 1810, in 
Pennsylvania, and her mother's in Connecticut, in 1820. Mr. Cline is a sub- 
stantial. Republican citizen. 

JOSEPH W, CONNELLY was born in Ohio April 13, 1833. 
His father, Thomas Connelly, was born in Maryland and his mother, Sevilla 
Connelly, in Virginia. Since 1835, Joseph W. Connelly has lived in this 
county, with the exception of one year passed in Iowa. His schooling, there- 
fore, was acquired in this county, and when twenty years old began life for 
himself. October 18, 1854, he was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Gage, a 
native of La Grange, Ind. Her parents, Jacob and Anna Gage, were 
natives respectively of Vermont and Pennsylvania ; the former is a farmer and 
resides in Van Buren Township, this county ; the latter died in this county in 
August, 1871. Mr. Connelly first rented a farm, then went to Iowa and pur- 
chased 53 acres of land. Returning the next year he bought his present farm 


of 80 acres, and has cleared most of that which is now under cultivation. 
Mr. Connelly keeps the usual amount of stock on his farm and is a good citi- 
zen. He and wife belong to the M. E. Church and are parents of ten 
children — John B., Martha S., Joseph A., Mary R. (deceased), Thomas B., 
Hiram J., Sevilla A., Orpheus J., Orphy M. and Charles F. 

JAMES D. CRANDELL, one of the pioneers of La Gra'nge County, 
was born in Monroe County, N. Y., September 1, 1822. He is one of ten 
children born to Ivory and Hopey (Winslow) Crandall. The former, a native 
of Rhode Island, was a carpenter by trade, and a soldier in the war of 1812. 
The latter was born in Washington County, N. Y. In 1836, they removed 
from Monroe County, N. Y., to this township, where Mr. Crandall bought land 
and the same year laid out the town of Bloomfield, now known as Hill's Cor- 
ners. He died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Grannis, in Steuben County, 
Ind., March 4, 1872. When eighteen years old, James Crandall learned the 
cooper's trade, and in 1841 bought 40 acres of land in this towhship ; followed 
his trade one and one-half years at Union Mills, this county, and in 1843, 
bought 90 acres of his present farm of 156 acres, where he built a shop and 
has since lived, engaged at his trade and farming. October 5, 1851, he mar- 
ried Susan A. Faulkner, and to them five children have been born — Erin 
M., now Mrs. J. L. Chapman, Emeline A., Francis U., now Mrs. D. 0. Chap- 
man, William S. and Frank H. Mrs. Crandall was born in Talbot County, 
Md., July 6, 1831. Her parents, William P. and Nancy (Pierson) Faulkner 
were natives of the same State, and parents of five children. Mr. Crandall is a 
leading Republican citizen. 

JAMES A. DUNTEN is the son of Thomas and Margaret (Mattoon) 
Dunten of Vermont. Thomas Dunten was a pioneer of Allen County, Ind., 
where he entered land in 1833, built a cabin and commenced clearing. They 
had a family of seven children, and he was in the war of 1812, participating in 
the battle of Sackett's Harbor. James Dunten was born in Jefferson County, 
N. Y., November 25, 1819, and was married July 12, 1846, to Miss Cynthia 
J. Carr, a native of Genesee County, N. Y., and daughter of Nathan and 
Lydia (Foster) Carr. For a number of years, he was engaged in running a 
hotel, the " Mansion House," on East Columbia Street, Fort Wayne, in which 
enterprise he first engaged when about twenty-four years old, in partnership 
with his brother, F. H. Dunten. After living on a farm in Perry Township, 
Allen County, Ind., until the spring of 1855, the subject, with his family, took 
an overland route for California, going thither to benefit the health of his wife. 
They remained in California until the winter of 1856, and while there Mr. 
Dunten engaged in the hotel business at Diamond Springs, also made money 
by speculating in some mines in Sugar Loaf Mountain. He returned to Allen 
County via Panama, New York and Fort Wayne. After buying and selling 
farms in Allen and Steuben Counties, Mr. Dunten located on his farm in this 
township in 1869. Mrs. Dunten died March 11, 1857, and left two children — 
Mary J., now Mrs. Beech, and Hattie C. His second wife, to whom he was 
married April 8, 1858, was Margaret Bell, the daughter of James and Marga- 
ret (Gray) Bell, natives of Massachusetts, and pioneers of De Kalb County, 
Ind. Mr. Dunten and wife have three children — Ida, Lola M. and Alice. 

WILLIAM FISH, one of the oldest pioneers of La Grange County, was 
born in Madison County, N. Y., January 13, 1810, one of eight children born 
to Ebenezer and Hannah (Goodrich) Fish, natives of Connecticut and Massa- 
chusetts respectively. Ebenezer Fish served in the war of 1812 and was in 


the battle at Fort Erie, Canada. In 1830, he came to this county and settled 
on eighty acres of land on Pretty Prairie, in Greenfield Township. In 1844 
or 1845, he came to the home of his daughter, Pedee Forker, where he died in 
December, 1863. Mrs. Hannah Fish died in January, 1861. Both were 
members of the Christian Church. William Fish had poor school advantages. 
In 1826, he went to Michigan, and in 1830 came to Greenfield Township, this 
county, and staked a claim for eighty acres of land, receiving a patent deed for 
the same signed by Gen. Jackson. In 1843, he sold this farm and forty acres 
he had purchased adjoining and went to Iowa, but soon returned and bought a 
farm in this township, which he traded, in 1851, for one in Branch County, 
Mich., which he sold the following year and resumed farming in this township, 
where he has lived since, with the exception of three years that he rented his 
farm and resided in La Grange. Mr. Fish was an active Regulator, and assisted 
in opening the wagon road from Lima to Fort Wayne by following an Indian 
trail. Mr. Fish's first wife died in February, 1846. She was a Miss Mary 
Leper, a native of Ohio and the daughter of James and Kesiah (Carter) Leper, 
the former born in Tennessee and the latter in Ohio. She was married to the 
subject November 28, 1833, and of five children born to them four are living, 
viz. : Hezekiah, Anna M. (now Mrs. Elliott), Isaiah and Mary J. (now Mrs. 
Harding). Mr. Fish was again married, in 1846, to Mrs. Margaret Wade, a 
native of Pennsylvania. Her parents were John and Sarah E. (Johnson) 
Hanes, natives of Pennsylvania and Canada respectively. Mr. and Mrs, Fish 
have had five children, three of whom are living — George M., Hannah M. 
(now Mrs. Orrin Gage) and William R. 

JAMES H. GAGE is the son of Abram and Julia A. (Holley) Gage, 
who were natives respectively of Pennsylvania and New York and parents of 
five children. Abram Gage was one of the early pioneers of Springfield 
Township, this county, where the subject was born February 10, 1839. He 
received the common school advantages, and at the age of twenty began work- 
ing for $10 per month; afterward farmed on shares until 1863, at which time 
he invested in fifty-six acres of unimproved land in this township. By perse- 
vering labor he has acquired a farm well cultivated, consisting of 139 acres, 
and has become one of the valued citizens. October 1, 1863, he was married 
to Martha Foster, who was born in Ashland County, Ohio, November 13, 1847. 
Her parents, John H. and Mary (Weible) Foster, were natives of Pennsylvania. 
Mr. and Mrs. Gage have united with the Evangelical denomination. He is a 
Republican. They have seven children — John A., George A., Mary E., Will- 
iam W., Martha A., Sarah R. and Harvey S. 

WILLIAM GARDNER is a native of Ontario County, N. Y., and the 
only child of John and Betsey (Billings) Gardner. The former was born in 
Pennsylvania, was a member of the Quaker Society and a fisherman by occu- 
pation, casting his nets along the Atlantic coast. He died in 1826, and his 
wife, who was a native of New York, died in Michigan in 1855. William 
Gardner was born October 27, 1825, received a common education, and at the 
age of seventeen learned the cooper's trade, that he has followed most of the 
time since. About one-half the coopering in this county was done by him. 
In 1846, he moved to Centerville, St. Joseph's Co., Mich., pursuing his trade 
there until he came to this township and located in 1856. In 1859, he removed 
to Ontario, where Mrs. Sarah Gardner died March 27, 1860. She was 
born in New York August 11, 1827, and was one of five children born to 
Elihu and Adeline (Utter) Cross, natives also of New York. She was 


married to Mr. Gardner February 15, 1849, and bore him three children — 
Eugene W., Charles F. and Adeline. Mr. Gardner was married to his present 
wife — Mrs. Adelaide Meek — December 23, 1860. She was one of ten in the 
family of Simon and Mary (Gore) Cookingham, and was born January 15, 
1830, in Dutchess County, N. Y. Her father was born in the same place and 
her mother was a native of New London, Conn. Mr. and Mrs. Gardner belong 
to the Congregational Church. He is a Democrat and an enterprising farmer 
and mechanic. Mrs. Gardner had one child by her first marriage, viz., Charles 
W. Meek. 

CURTIS HARDING was born in Pennsylvania September 4, 1798, and, 
when small, moved, with his parents, to the State of New York, where he was 
married, in Wayne County, to Miss Amy Cowan. In 1835, they emigrated to 
this township, entered and settled on the farm where Mrs. Harding is now 
living. By the assistance of his sons, Curtis Harding cleared the land and 
made many improvements. He died at his home February 10, 1864. He 
belonged to the Regular Baptist Church, of which Mrs. Harding is a member. 
They had seven children born to them, four of whooa are yet living. Three 
sons — William, Daniel and Bishop — live with their mother and manage the 
homestead farm, which includes 139 acres of good land. They are all unmarried 
and are among the oldest citizens of the township, well known and respected. 
William Harding is a native of Ontario County, N. Y,, and Daniel Harding 
was born in this township on the 15th of May, 1840. 

WILLIAM C. HEALEY is one of eight children, now living, born to 
William and Jane (Hubbard) Healey, natives of England, William Healey 
and family emigrated to the United States in 1852, and came to Indiana and 
bought land in Lima Township, which he sold in 1861 and moved to Johnson 
Township, this county, where he purchased a farm and yet resides. William 
C. Healey was born in Lima Township, this county, June 13, 1852, received 
a common education and remained with his parents until sixteen, when he 
engaged in working out by the month. After five years, he returned and 
spent one year at home, then bought fifty acres in Johnson Township, that he 
exchanged, in 1880, for his present farm. He married Cordelia Hossinger in 
1874, November 17, and they have four children — Adrian C, Almon R., Cora 
B. and an infant. Mrs. Healey is a native of this county, born May 3, 1856, 
and the daughter of Anthony and Mary M. (Groh) Hossinger, natives respect- 
ively of Pennsylvania and Germany and parents of seven children. Mr. and 
Mrs. Healey are members of the Lutheran Church. He is a Republican and 
one of the prosperous young farmers of Bloom field Township. 

EBENEZER HILL is a native of Rensselaer County, N. Y., as were 
also his parents, Aaron and Pamelia (Winston) Hill. In May, 1809, Aaron 
Hill removed to Monroe County, N. Y.; thence in 1840 to this county. In 
1867, he moved to Iowa, where Mrs. Hill died October 20, 1868, and Aaron 
Hill February 5, 1870. The latter was a soldier in the war of 1812. Eben- 
zer Hill was born February 25, 1809, and spent his youth on the home farm 
and boating on the New York & Erie Canal. In 1842, he went to Oakland 
County, Mich., where he was engaged in farming about ten years; then came 
to this county, purchased and lived on a farm in Johnson Township until 1876, 
when he located in this township. Mr. Hill served actively as a Regulator in 
this and Noble County. In Michigan, he was Township Treasurer two years, 
and has twice been elected Justice of the Peace. He was first married, Janu- 
ary 8, 1827, to Hannah M. Barber, a native of New York. They had nine 


children — Andrew J.; Phoebe E., now Mrs. Barber; Benjamin B.; Mary M., 
now Mrs. Hall; Melvin E.; Joseph D.; John C; Sarah J., now Mrs. Welch, 
and Julia A., now Mrs. Brown. Mrs. Hill's death occurred April 6, 1875; 
her parents were Benjamin and Hannah (Morse) Barber, natives respectively 
of New York and Massachusetts. Mr. Hill's second and present wife was born 
in New York February 28, 1820 ; her maiden name was Almira Crandell, and 
the subject is her fourth husband. They were married in August, 1877; she 
was married first to Newell Hill, a native of New York, and by him has left 
one child, Edwin W. By her second marriage, to Stephen Harris, a native of 
Ohio, she had a daughter, Augusta, now Mrs. Maxwell. Her third husband 
was Ephraim Jenning, a native of New York. 

JACOB HOAGLAND, Jr., the son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Veghte) 
Hoagland, was born in Steuben County, N. Y., August 20, 1817. His parents 
had twelve children, and Avere both natives of Somerset County, N. J., the 
former born in 1773, and the latter in 1778. The subject was married Feb- 
ruary 16, 1836, to Sarah Sherman, and, in April of the same year, came West 
to Michigan and Indiana with his father. They bought 200 acres of land in 
this township, on a portion of which the subject now resides, and during the 
summer were engaged in clearing and bringing settlers here, the tide of immi- 
gration having set in from Detroit. In August, they went back to New York, 
returning with their families the same fall, coming by steamer from Buffalo to 
Detroit, ihence overland to their home in this township, where the two families 
lived together. Jacob Hoagland, Sr., died in 1848, and Mrs. Hoagland in 
1858; both belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Jacob Hoagland, 
Jr., was the first mail contractor in the county, starting in 1851, the first line 
of stages from Sturgis, Mich., to La Grange, and also carrying mail between 
these two points. He afterward sold out and bought a half-interest in the 
Sturgis & Fort Wayne Stage Line, running as far as Kendallville, and traveling 
over the old Fort Wayne & Lima road. Mr. Hoagland was the first Consta- 
ble elected in this township, and served several years as Vice President of the La 
Grange County Agricultural Society; he owns a fine farm of 160 acres, and him- 
self and wife are parents of eight children, four living — Charles E., Plympton 
A., Elizabeth P. (now Mrs. Price), and Rhoda R. Mrs. Hoagland was born 
April 11, 1817, in Oneida County, N. Y. ; her parents were Enoch and Rhoda 
(Douglass, Grant) Sherman, natives of Rhode Island and Scotland respectively. 
HEZEKIAH HOARD is the eldest of ten in the family of Hezekiah and 
Lodema (Babcock) Hoard, natives of New York. The elder Hoard was a sol- 
dier in the war of 1812; he moved to Geauga County, Ohio, in 1832, thence 
to this county in the fall of 1835, where he died at the home of the subject in 
December, 1869, his wife having died three years before at the same place. 
The subject; was born in Stephentown. N. Y., March 14, 1807 ; he removed to 
Geauga County, Ohio, where he bought a farm, sold it in 1835, and came to 
Lima Township, this county, where he farmed on shares until 1838, when he 
came to this township and invested in eighty acres of unimproved land; he yet 
lives on this farm, having added sixty acres more and largely improved it. 
Mr, Hoard was married January 1, 1832, to Rhoda Ingraham, a native of New 
York; she died November 9, 1838. Of two children born to them, one (My- 
ron) is yet living. February 28, 1841, Mr. Hoard was married to Miss Ann 
Wilcox, who was born December 19, 1814, and is one of four children born to 
William and Nancy (Cain) Wilcox, natives of Connecticut. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hoard are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and have had six chil- 


dreri, three of whom are living — Mary, now Mrs. Randolph; William and 

ISAAC HOG MIRE is the son of Samuel and Catherine (Raum) Hog- 
mire, natives of Washington County, Md., in which place Isaac was born on 
the 5th of April, 1812. He was educated at the common schools, and at the 
age of eighteen learned carpentering, which occupation he has since been en- 
gaged in, although not exclusively. He went to Richland County, Ohio, in 
1837, and the following year, on the 12th of October, was united in marriage 
to Miss Sophia Ernsberger. They came to this county in 1853, where he 
bought and improved 80 acres of land in this township, removing in 1879 to 
his present improved farm of 120 acres. Mr. Hogmire continued to work at his 
trade after coming here, and has worked on some of the best buildings in the 
county. The first warehouse in the town of La Grange was built by him, and 
he assisted also in building the first storeroom there. Mrs. Hogmire is one of 
eleven children in the family of Michael and Phoebe (Pofi'enbarger) Ernsberger, 
and is of the same nativity as her husband, born April 6, 1815. They have 
had born to them six children ; one died in infancy, and Henry in his thirty- 
fifth year, April 27, 1881 ; the others are all living — Mary A., now Mrs. 
Frank Rife; Martin; Sarah C, now Mrs. Carp, and Samuel. 

HIRAM JACOBS, the son of Andrew and Sarah (Wing) Jacobs, was 
born in Ohio March 4, 1824. When thirteen years old, he came to this county, 
where he lived with a brother-in-law, from whom he received $100 for his serv- 
ices till he became of age. He then bought forty acres of unimproved land, 
has since made other purchases, and now owns a fine farm of 130 acres. 
October 18, 1854, he was married in La Grange to Miss Martha M. Connelly, 
the daughter of Thomas and Sevilla (Groves) Connelly, who were natives re- 
spectively of Maryland and Virginia, and came to this county in 1835, where 
they afterward died. Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs settled on their present farm in 
December, 1854 ; they have one child, a daughter, Grace. Mrs. Jacobs united 
with the Methodist Episcopal Church when a little girl, and is yet a member. 
In addition to agriculture, Mr. Jacobs, since 1875, has devoted considerable 
attention to stock-raising, and ships large quantities. He feeds annually about 
one hundred head of sheep, fifteen to twenty head of cattle, and thirty to 
forty hogs. 

WILLIAM JACOBS is a Canadian by birth, and one of eight in the 
family of Andrew and Sarah (Wing) Jacobs, the former a native of New 
Hampshire and the latter of Pittsfield, Mass. Andrew Jacobs was a pioneer 
of Lucas County, Ohio, settling in 1817 in what is now a part of Toledo. 
The Indians became very troublesome, and on this account he removed to 
Canada in the spring of 1819, and William was born August 5 of that year. 
In 1820, they returned to Lucas County, and there Mrs. Sarah Jacobs died 
August 5, 1834. In 1836, Mr. Jacobs came to this township, where he re- 
sided with his daughter, Mrs. Orphelia Mattoon until his death, which occurred 
in 1838. The subject, after he was fourteen, resided with his uncle, William 
Sibley, who was also a pioneer of Lucas County, Ohio, until the latter's death 
in 1836. In the fall of that year, Mr. Jacobs came to this county, but re- 
turned again to Toledo, where he worked by the month, until he located in 
this township in 1840, when he purchased forty acres of his present farm. 
November 23, 1840, Mr. Jacobs was married to Charlotte M. Wing, who was 
born in Northampton County, Penn., June 28, 1820, and is the daughter of 
Thomas and Elinor (Hardy) Wing, of Massachusetts, and parents of thirteen 


children. Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs have no children of their own, but have reared: 
two, and partially reared two others. Mr. Jacobs, besides his farm of 140 
acres, owns property in La Grange. 

ISRAEL MARKS, son of John and Mary Marks, was born June 7,, 
1839, in Stark County, Ohio. His parents were natives of Pennsylvania, and 
they removed to Stark County, Ohio, where John Marks died. After this sad 
occurrence, Mrs. Mary Marks came to Indiana, in which State she subsequently 
died. Israel Marks was reared and educated in Ohio, principally in Wyandot 
County, and came to Indiana when twenty years of age. He was married in* 
this county, August 24, 1860, to Miss Amanda E. Sigler, a native of Ohio, and 
the daughter of Peter and Nancy Sigler. Her parents, natives of Maryland^ 
are now residents of this county. Mr. Marks purchased sixty-five acres of his 
present farm in 1865 ; he now owns 112J acres, and most of the improvements 
he has made himself. The buildings are good, and the chief products of the 
farm are wheat and corn. Mr. and Mrs. Marks have a family of four children 
— William W., Ira M.. Emanuel E. and Mary E. 

SAMUEL McCALLY was born August 3, 1827, in a house situated or- 
the line dividing Clark and Madison Counties, Ohio, and is one of eleven chil- 
dren born to Nicholas and Nancy (Judy) McCally, natives respectively of Vir- 
ginia and Kentucky. Nicholas McCally served in the war of 1812, first in i 
the cavalry, in Green Clay's Brigade under Gen. Hull, and was one of the- 
army surrendered to the British. He afterward re-enlisted under Gen. Harrison^ 
and was wounded in an engagement with the Indians. He died in Logan) 
County, Ohio, in October, 1850. Samuel McCally received a common educa- 
tion, and at the age of eighteen went to work on a farm in Clark County, Ohio,., 
where he remained three years, then for the same length of time was engaged in^ 
driving cattle to New York. In 1851, he purchased the old homestead in Lo- 
gan Count}^ Ohio, and in 1854 came to this township and bought the farm of" 
180 acres, where he now lives. He married Mary A. Nichelson, February 15,. 
1849. She*was born January 3, 1828, in Clark County, Ohio, and died at her 
home in this township April 26, 1856. Her parents were John and Roxy 
(Hammond) Nichelson, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of" 
New York. To this union were born four children, John N., Almond, An- 
drew and Elias G.; the latter was killed May 10, 1865. Mr. McCally was- 
married to his present wife, Elizabeth J. Richards, July 3, 1856. She is the 
daughter of Joseph and Rachel (Davidson) Richards, and was born in Clark. 
County, Ohio, November 23, 1827. They have five children — Charles A.,. 
Sarah H. (now Mrs. Rogers), Grace A., Manley and Roxy J. Mr. McCally ig-. 
a stanch Republican, and prominent farmer of the township. 

CHRISTIAN MILLER, when a boy of six, moved to Morrow County,,. 
Ohio, with his parents, Andrew and Mary M. (Zimmerman) Miller, both natives- 
of Harford County, Md., where the subject was born March 10, 1825 ; his fath- 
er's birth occurred August 17, 1800, and his mother's October 5, 1804. In^ 
their family were three boys and eight girls. Christian Miller, at the age gS' 
twenty-one, traveled West on a prospecting tour, returning to Ohio in the fall,, 
where he was married in Richland County, on the 13th of April, 1848, to Misg;- 
Juliann Sowers. They went to Jefierson Township, Noble County, in 1850^ 
where they lived four years on a farm. Mr. Miller during that time cleared; 
sixty acres of land. He then sold out and came to this township and bought 
thirty-two acres that now lie in the southwestern part of La Grange, also 
eighty acres in Clay Township, all of which he subsequently sold. In 1858,, 


he purchased a stock of dry goods and groceries in La Grange, and sold the 
same the next year, when he engaged in the lumber business; in 1861, erect- 
ed a saw-mill, operated it until 1870, when he bought a farm of 136 acres in 
this township, where he is residing, having increased his farm to 364 acres. 
For about two years he ran a saw-mill on his place, when the supply of water 
failed and it was abandoned. Mr. Miller, from 1854 to 1862 was an Odd Fel- 
low, when the war broke the lodge up, and was an active Regulator. Mr. and 
Mrs. Miller belong to the Lutheran Church, and have a family of five children, 
viz.: Mary G. (now Mrs. Peters), Catherine E. (now Mrs. Deavenbaugh), Henry 
A., Anna and John C. Mrs. Miller is a native of Center County, Penn., born 
October 16, 1827, the daughter of Henry and Mary A. C. (Miller) Sowers, na- 
tives respectively of Pennsylvania and Maryland, and parents of nine children. 

WILLIAM R. MINICK is a native of Stark County, Ohio, where his 
birth occurred October 24, 1837. His parents, John and Nancy (Poland) 
Minick, were natives of Pennsylvania, the former born in 1818 and the latter 
in 1812; they had a family of nine children. .John Minick went to Ohio in 
the prime of early youth, and for several years followed his trade, that of a 
carder and fuller, at Canton, and subsequently at Akron. He was married in 
Ohio, and in 1851 went to Allen County, Ind., where his death occurred in 
1856. His widow was afterward married to David Perky and moved to De 
Kalb County, Ind., where she died in 1878. William Minick, from fourteen 
until twenty-two years of age, worked oat by the month, and in 1859 came to 
this township, where he managed a farm one year on shares. November 6, 
1860, he voted for Abraham Lincoln, and was married the same day to Han- 
nah L. Cain, who was born in Johnson Township, this county, November 1, 
1842, and is one of eight in the family of Simeon and Ann (Oliver) Cain, the 
former of whom was born in New York November 1, 1808, and the latter in 
Clark County, Ohio, October 6, 1813. In 1861, Mr. Minick bought a farm in 
Williams County, Ohio, and in 1868 traded the same for one in Defiance 
County, Ohio, where he resided until he located on his present 'farm in this 
township in 1874. He owns 120 acres, and in connection with farming is 
engaged in selling agricultural implements. He is a Republican, and a mem- 
ber of the Meridian Sun Lodge, No. 76, A., F. & A. M. He joined the 
Masonic Order at Edgerton, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Minick have four children, 
William W., a school teacher, Anna M., Frank A. and Charles A. Three of 
the subject's brothers served in the late war, John L. in Company A, Forty- 
fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry ; he died at Indianapolis in 1864 ; George 
W. in Company A, Thirty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and Joseph S. in 
CoDHpany A, Twenty-first Indiana Heavy Artillery. The two last named are 
residents of Muskegon, Mich. 

BENJAMIN S. MITCHELL, a native of Westmoreland County, Penn., 
born December 22, 1811, is one of eleven in the family of Hugh and Phoebe 
(McClure) Mitchell. The parents were natives of Trenton, N. J., and Ches- 
ter County, Penn., respectively, and Hugh Mitchell was Quartermaster in the 
Revolutionary war, also a commissioned officer in the New Jersey militia dur- 
ing the whisky rebellion there ; his father, Randall Mitchell, was a wealthy 
merchant of Trenton. Hugh Mitchell, when a young man, went to West- 
moreland County, Penn., where he clerked, taught school and was married ; subse- 
quently removing to Ashland County, Ohio, where he died at the home of his 
son Benjamin, October 4, 1834; his wife died on the 11th of the succeeding 
April. The subject, at the age of twelve, began working out by the month, and 


at seventeen rented land in Ashland County, Ohio, and moved to Huron 
County, Ohio, where he kept hotel six and a half years, next engaging in the 
drover business, then in mercantile pursuits, continuing the latter six years at 
Fitchville, Huron Co., Ohio. In 1861, he bought his farm in this township 
where he is living. He belongs to, and was a charter member of Floral Lodge, 
No. 160, A., F, & A. M., at Fitchville, Ohio, and is also a member of Huron 
Chapter, No. 7, R. A. M. His wife is a member of the M. E. Church, and is 
the daughter of Frederick and Martha (Angel) Draggoo, who had thirteen 
children, and were natives respectively of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mr. 
Draggoo Avas a soldier in the war of 1812 ; his daughter Eleanor was born May 
26, 1815, in Mercer County, Penn., and was married to Benjamin Mitchell Jan- 
uary 3, 1833. They have had six children, two of whom are living — Martha, 
now Mrs. Samuel E. Beans, and Dora M., now Mrs. William H. Biddle. 

ISAAC B. NEWELL is a native of Easton, Washington Co., N. Y. 
His parents were John and Joanna (Reynolds) Newell; the former was born 
in Old Hadley, Conn., in 1762, and the latter in New York, Washington 
County, in 1772. They had twelve children, all of whom grew to maturity. 
Isaac Newell was born July 14, 1803, married January 4, 1829, and came to 
Bloomfield Township in 1840, where he has since lived on the 140-acre farm 
that he has cleared and improved. Shortly after coming here he had a narrow 
escape from the wolves, and himself and wife were once attacked by a panther 
and chased into their cabin. Mr. Newell was an active Regulator, and owns a 
horse that will be twenty-seven years old in May, 1882. Mr. and Mrs Newell 
have four children — Sabrina P., Harriet T., now Mrs. Thurstin; Charity V., 
now Mrs. Reed, and Anna M., now Mrs. Bunn. Mrs. Lucretia Newell was 
born in Pine Plains, Dutchess Co., N. Y., May 27, 1805, and was married to 
the subject in Conquest, Cayuga Co., N. Y. Her parents, Jacob and Charity 
(Pulver) Vandewater, were born in New York. Her ancestors were among the 
first Dutch settlers in that State, and she has in her possession a chest brought 
by them from Holland. 

HARVEY OLMSTEAD was born December 7, 1811, near Lundy's 
Lane, Canada, and worked for some time on his father's farms in Pennsvlvania 
and Ohio, and five years on the New York & Erie Canal. In 1833, he came 
to Springfield Township, this county, where he built a cabin on a tract of Gov- 
ernment land in Brushy Prairie, and worked at splitting rails until he had 
saved $50, when he entered the forty acres of land upon which he was alreadv 
located. He now owns 320 acres in that township, and a farm of 100 acres in 
this township which he bought in 1874, and upon which he has since lived. 
Mr. Olmstead is one of the oldest settlers in the county, and took an active 
part in the Regulator movement. His parents were Jacob and Elizabeth 
(Venater) Olmstead, the former born in Vermont in 1786, and the latter in 
1788 in Pennsylvania, where they were married. In 1807. Jacob Olmstead 
went to Canada, and served in the war of 1812, first as a British soldier, but 
subsequently deserted and entered the United States Army. After the war, he 
settled with his family in New York, but subsequently resided in the States of 
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan. Illinois and Iowa, finally returning to 
this county, where he died in April, 1869. Mrs. Elizabeth Olmstead died in 
Michigan in 1835 or 1836. Mr. Harvey Olmstead has been left a widower 
four times. His first wife, to whom he was married April 17, 1834, was 
Sarah Gage, a native of New York, born February 4, 1813, and daughter of 
Abraham and Polly (Biengton) Gage, of Vermont. She died July 11, 1841, 


and of four children born to them, one only is living — Elijah. March 2, 
1842, Mr. Olmstead was married to Mrs. Mary (Gage) Anderson, a native of 
Rutland, Vt., born February 25, 1815, and the daughter of Isaac and Perley 
(Howard) Gage, of Vermont. They had four children, two of whom are liv- 
ing — Mary, now Mrs. Samuel Cline, and Frank B. Mrs. Mary Olmstead died 
August 19, 1852. His third wife was Elizabeth Burrell. Thfey were married 
in 1853, and she died in 1865, leaving four children — Albert A., Clara A., 
now Mrs. Jennings ; Elizabeth C, now Mrs. Routsong, and Jacob A. Mr. 
■Olmstead's last marriage took place March 6, 1866, to Lydia C. McNulty, 
who died January 21. 1882, having borne her husband two sons — Charles H. 
and George. 

ALBERT PRESTON was born May 25, 1840, in Trumbull County, Ohio. 
His father was James Preston, a native of Beaver County, Penn., where his birth 
occurred in 1809, December 9. His mother, Mrs. Mary A. (Matthews) Pres- 
ton, was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, April 1, 1816. Albert Preston is 
•one of twelve children ; in 1853, accompanied his parents to Indiana, and 
worked on his father's farm in this township until 1859, when he began an ap- 
prenticeship at the carpenter's trade with John Q. Reed, of La Grange. He 
worked at carpentering summers, and attended school winters, until August, 
1861, when he enlisted in Company G, Thirtieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, 
and was mustered into service September 24, 1861. He was with his regiment 
in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Stone River, Chattanooga, and was wounded 
at Rocky Face, Ga., May 9, 1864, after which he was detailed as Commissary 
Sergeant, at Gen. Grose's brigade headquarters, where he remained until he 
was mustered out at Indianapolis September 29, 1864. He married Miss Mary 
J. Moore, December 14, 1864. She was born July 15, 1842, in Trumbull 
•County, Ohio, and is the only child of Andrew B. and Jane L. (Thomas) 
Moore, the former a native of Trumbull County, Ohio, and the latter of Wales. 
Mr. Preston has been engaged in farming and the stock business ever since the 
war, settling on his present farm in 1871. Mr. and Mrs. Preston are Presby- 
terians, and have had born to them four children, three of whom are living, 
■namely, Effie M., Francis A. and Alice L. 

JAMES M. PRESTON was born in Youngstown, Ohio, February 17, 
1835, and is the son of John and Ellen Preston, natives respectively of Penn- 
sylvania and Ireland. Mrs. Preston died in Youngstown, Ohio, when the sub- 
ject was but eight months old. John Preston came to Indiana in 1850, and is 
yet living in this county ; he is seventy-three years old, and devotes his time 
•exclusively to farming, having in his younger days followed mechanical pur- 
suits. James Preston came to this State with his father ; the latter ran a saw- 
mill about twelve years, in which James M. was employed part of his time. He 
was married in this county, September 15, 1857, to Lockey J. Price, a native 
of Preble County, Ohio, and the daughter of Francis and Sarah Price, the for- 
mer a native of Virginia, and the latter of New Jersey ; they came to Noble 
€ounty, Ind., in 1841, and six months after moved to this county, on the farm 
now owned and occupied by the subject, where they died. Mr. Preston, after 
renting land two years, settled on twenty-eight acres given him by his father, 
and began dealing in organs and other musical instruments, which business he 
/has successfully continued up to the present time. He carries a full line of 
:goods, and all orders for music are promptly filled. About 1870, he opened an 
•office in La Grange. From 1874 to 1880, he was engaged in the sale of agri- 
cultural implements and sewing machines. Mr, Preston owns eighty acres of 


land, which is farmed under his supervision. Himself and wife are members of 
the Presbyterian Church, and have had three children — Ella E., Frank and 
Marion, deceased. 

H. M. PRICE was born in this county July 16, 1843, and is the 
youngest of nine children born to Francis M. and Sarah (Miller) Price, the lat- 
ter of whom was born October 5, 1801, in Elizabethtown, N. J. Francis Price 
was a native of Montgomery County, Va., born May 8, 1797, and when four 
years old moved with his parents to Preble County, Ohio, where he received a 
fair education and when quite young served an apprenticeship of four years at 
the tanner's trade. When of age he started for Oregon, but, after reaching St. 
Louis, abandoned that project, and for six months ran a ferry boat at St. 
Charles. Returning to Ohio, he followed his trade until 1835, when he trav- 
eled over Indiana and Illinois, returning to Preble County the same year to 
resume his trade. In 1836, he entered 320 acres of land in this township, 110 
of which is now owned by the subject. In 1840, he went to Noble County, 
and entered about 800 acres of land; located in this township in 1841, where 
he died January 30, 1878. Mrs. Sarah Price died July 29, 1872. They 
were members of the Presbyterian Church, and he was a Republican. Henry 
M. Price, in 1864, with his brother Thomas, went to California, via New York 
and Panama, returning in 1868 via Nicaragua to this township where he bought 
his present farm. While in California he was engaged in the stock business, 
and made a second trip there, but returned in 1871, and was married Novem- 
ber 23 of that year to Elizabeth P. Hoagland, who was born June 28, 1844, 
in this county. She is one of eight in the family of Jacob and Sarah E. (Sher- 
man) Hoagland, natives of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Price have no children ; 
she is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Edwin L. Price, a broth- 
er of the subject, went to California in 1849, where he was engaged in mining 
and farming for sometime ; he died there December 4, 1874. Another brother 
— Harvey — went to that State in 1852, engaged in mining, and has not been 
heard from since 1871. Thomas Price is supposed to have been killed by the 
Indians in Idaho in 1870. 

MANLEY RICHARDS, one of five children born to Joseph and Rachel 
(Davidson) Richards, is a native of Clark County, Ohio, where his birth oc- 
curred October 29, 1829. His father was born in Virginia, July 5, 1803, and 
reared in Clark County, Ohio, where his marriage occurred. He emigrated to 
this county in 1836, and entered 80 acres of land in this township, a part of 
which is now included in the farm of Manley Richards, Here he built a log 
house and began clearing, owning at the time of his death, in November, 1849, 
120 acres of well improved land. Manley Richards acquired a common-school 
education while assisting on the home farm. After his father's death, himself 
and brother farmed the old homestead until 1856, when Manley Richards pur- 
chased his brother's interest. He has now 145 acres. April 2, 1857, he mar- 
ried Elizabeth Barnes, and two children born to them are living, Annetta, now 
Mrs. Sherman, and Albert R. The mother died at her home December 22, 
1875. She was born in Ohio June 4, 1839, and was the daughter of Edmund 
and Susan (Beardsley) Barnes, natives of New York. Mr. Richards is a 
Democrat, and a thriving farmer. 

FRANKLIN RIFE is the only child of Abraham and Susan (Lighter) 
Rife, natives of Pennsylvania ; the former died in 1842, in Richland County, 
Ohio, where Franklin was born October 26, 1833. Mrs. Susan Rife is living, 
and resides with the subject. He learned the carpenters' trade in his early 


manhood, and followed the same until 1872, since which time he has been en- 
gaged in farming. He bought a farm in this township in 1856, which he 
exchanged in 1864 for the one where he is now living. Mr. Rife came to this 
township in 1855, and after he was married, October 20, 1856, took a trip to 
Ashland County, Ohio, returning to this township in the following spring, 
where he owns 110 acres of desirable land. Mrs. Mary A. Rife is the daugh- 
ter of Isaac and Sophia (Ernsberger) Hogmire. She was born in Ashland 
County, Ohio, on the 26th of March, 1839. Seven children have been born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Rife — Samantha, deceased September 26, 1863 ; Ida A., now 
Mrs. Wyland ; Laura : Elmer A. ; Susanna, died May 12, 1871 ; Maggie M. and 
Lilly B. 

* JOSEPH ROYER, son of Jacob and Mary (Michael) Royer, is a native 
of Summit County, Ohio, where his birth occurred November 11, 1838. Hi& 
parents were natives of Pennsylvania. His father, soon after he was married, 
moved to Summit County, Ohio, where he bought a farm and resided until 
about 1858, then removed to Uniontown, Stark Co., Ohio, where his wife 
died in July, 1861. He died at the same place in 1879, having, however, 
married a second time. At the age of eighteen Joseph Royer learned carpen- 
tering ; previous to this had worked on his father's farm. He followed his trade 
several years in Ohio, and continued it in Johnson Township, this county, 
after moving there in 1?61. In 1865, he bought 80 acres of unimproved land 
and worked at clearing in addition to carpentering. In 1873, he sold out and 
rented a farm near Wolcottville, remaining until August, 1874, when he came 
to his present; location, having purchased it the preceding spring. Mr Royer 
was married May 12, 1864, to Elizabeth P. Eshleman, daughter of Joseph and 
Mary (Erford) Eshleman, natives of Pennsylvania. She was born January 2, 
1845, in Summit County, Ohio, and is one of eight children. Mr. and Mrs- 
Royer have had three children, Elmer E., Mary L. and Emma M. Mr. Royer 
is a Republican, and himself and family are all members of the Evangelical 

MRS. MARIA SARGENT Avas born at Lock, Cayuga Co., N. Y., 
October 27, 1808. Her father — James Young — was a native of Ireland and 
a soldier of the war of 1812. He held two prominent county offices in Ca- 
yuga County, N. Y. Her mother — Mary (Mow) Young — was of French 
descent. She died at Lock, N. Y., September 20, 1845, in her seventy-eighth 
year. She was a member of the M. E. Church. They were the parents of 
eleven boys and two girls. Maria, when ten years of age, went to live with 
Moses Dixon, at Brutus, N. Y., and remained until February 28, 1830, when 
she was married to David Sargent. They came to this township in 1840, he 
having traded his farm in New York for lan<l here, where Mrs. Sargent now 
lives. This farm Mr. Sargent cleared and improved. Soon after coming here 
he had a barn raising and invited his neighbors to assist, as was customary in 
those days. This they refused to do unless supplied with liquor, which Mr. 
Sargent refused them, he being a strict temperance man, making a speech that 
had the desired effect. The barn is still standing and was the first raised in 
the township where liquor was not used. Mr. Sargent died at his home Sep- 
tember 15, 1881. He was a member of the M. E. Church and was a much 
beloved and respected citizen. He was a native of New Hampshire, where his 
birth occurred January 3, 1805. Of eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Sargent, five are living, viz. : Eliza R., now Mrs. McKibben ; Maria M., now 
Mrs. John Preston; Alfred; Janet, now Mrs. Rowe; and Mary A., now Mrs. 


ELIAS SCHROCK first came to Indiana in 1842, with his father, and 
worked at farming and in a saw-mill until he was twenty-two years old, when 
he bought 126 acres of land in Elkhart County. Previous to coming here he 
had worked, from the age of seven to fourteen, in a carding factory in Ohio. 
After selling his first purchase in Elkhart County in 1853, he bought another 
farm of 160 acres north of Goshen. In 1865, he sold and came to Clearspring 
Township, this county, bought a farm, sold it 1872 and moved to Eden Town- 
ship ; purchased 200 acres of land and sold it in 1873, for |100 per acre ; next 
locating in this township, where he has a farm of 180 acres. March 5, 1850, 
Mr. Schi-ock was married to Eliza Gerber. She was born. May 13, 1826, in 
Stark County, Ohio, and his birth occurred March 11, 1826, in Holmes County, 
Ohio. She was the eldest of thirteen children born to David and Susanna 
(Buchtel) Gerber, natives of Pennsylvania. They are members of the German 
luiptist Church, of which Mr. Shrock has been a minister about fourteen years. 
They have had nine children — Anna B., now Mrs. Yoder: Louis C, who died 
July 8, 1874; Lydia M., now Mrs. Berkey; Susanna, now Mrs. W. H. Swi- 
hart; Harriet E., now Mrs. Rudisill; David D. ; Melvin C. ; Emma D. ; and 
Mary R. The parents of Elias Schrock were David and Margaret (Borntrager) 
Schrock, both natives of Lancaster County, Penn., the former born August 
24, 1797, and the latter November 26, 1790. David Schrock, when about 
eighteen, moved to Holmes County, Ohio, where he was married in April, 1817. 
His business was carpentering and farming, and he was a member of the Amish 
Church until after Mrs. Schrock 's death, December 22, 1850. Mr. Schi'ock 
was again married, in 1852, to Mrs. Melissa (Ball) De France, a native of the 
East, and on the day of their union both united with the German Baptist 
Church. In May, 1842, he moved to Elkhart County, Ind., farmed and ope- 
rated a saw-mill until he entered the mercantile business at Goshen. He died 
October 31, 1873. His ancestors were Swiss and German and he was the 
father of eight children. 

ISAAC SEARS is a native of Onondaga County, N. Y., born Novem- 
ber 7, 1828, is the son of Eleazer and Sarah Sears, natives of New York, the 
former of Saratoga and the latter of Onondaga County. They came to this 
county in 1841, and located on Brushy Prairie, where they died and were in- 
terred in Brushy Prairie Cemetery. Eleazer Sears died from an accident 
caused by a team running away that was hitched to a reaper, from which he 
received injuries and expired about seven hours afterward. Isaac Sears re- 
ceived an average education, and remained with his parents until he was mar- 
ried, February 13, 1853, in this township, to Miss Laurinda Tuttle. Her 
parents. Lemon and Diadamie Tuttle, were natives of Ohio and farmers by 
occupation ; they died in this county. Subject and wife settled on a farm of 
236 acres, in Springfield Township, this county, that Mr. Sears had previously 
purchased. He increased his land to 436 acres, and farmed and raised live 
stock on a large scale. May 10, 1874, his wife died and he was married in 
Onondaga County, N. Y., February 11, 1875, to Miss Sarah Van Alstine, the 
daughter of James and Abigail Van Alstine, natives of New York, where her 
father died and her mother is yet living, at the age of sixty-six. They removed 
from Springfield to this township in October, 1880, where they have a well im- 
proved farm, good buildings and fine brick residence. Mr. Sears now owns 
868 acres of land, and has given eighty acres to his son. All of his property 
has been accumulated by his own efforts and industry, with the exception of 
100 acres of land and $400 in money, that he inherited. He is extensively 


engaged in live stock dealing, and hia farm annually yields large profits. For 
1878, the wheat crop alone was 3,000 bushels, averaging thirty-two bushels per 
acre. Mr. Sears is one of the most prominent citizens, and has two sons, 
Charles E. and David A., both of whom are married. 

ORMUND SISSON is a native of Norway, Oneida County, N. Y., 
where his birth occurred March 18, 1810. He is the son of Abraham and 
Amy (Cole) Sisson, and the youngest of three children. When Ormund was 
ten years old his mother died, and he was bound out to Alfred Martin, with 
whom he remained until he was eighteen, then went to Ontario County, N. Y., 
and was employed working on a farm and stage driving, afterward learning the 
carpenter's trade, which he has followed to some extent ever since. He re- 
ceived but a few months schooling, and December 2.5, 1832, was married to 
Ann Brooks, who was born in England June 13, 1817, and is one of nine 
children in the family of George and Elizabeth (Smith) Brooks. In October, 
1841, Mr. Sisson bought eighty acres of land in Steuben County, Ind. In 
1852, he returned to Ohio and engaged in the grocery business at Montpelier. 
He continued this enterprise about a year, then settled on a farm in Williams 
County, Ohio ; disposing of his property in 1854, he emigrated to Indiana, 
bought his farm of 120 acres, and has ever since resided in this township. 
Mr. and Mrs. Sisson have had nine children born to them — Elizabeth (now Mrs. 
Metzger), William A., Edward 0., George K., Laura P. (now Mrs. Spears), Amy 
A. (now Mrs. Munger), John H.. Albert H. and Edgar F. Edward 0. served 
in the recent war, was a member of Company G, Eighty-eighth Indiana Vol- 
unteer Infantry. George K. served in the same company and regiment. He- 
died in hospital, January 20, 1863, at Nashville, Tenn. 

SAMUEL SOMES came to this township in 1855, and in 1859 bought 
eighty acres of unimproved land which is now a cleared and improved farm, 
comprising one hundred and twenty acres. The four years preceding this he 
worked out by the month, receiving from $12 to $15 wages. He was married, 
January 1, 1861, to Sarah A. Mills, a native of Cayuga, N. Y., where she 
was born April 3, 1838. She is one of three children in the family of Jacob 
and Margaret (Passage) Mills. Mr. and Mrs. Somes have a family of three 
children — Eugene S., Ettie J. and Nathaniel W. Mr. Somes has been a mem- 
ber of the I. 0. 0. F. for about eighteen years, and has passed all the chairs. 
He is the son of Samuel and Mary (Barnes) Somes, of New York, and is next 
to the youngest of eight children, all of whom are living, subject being born 
March 10, 1834. Mr. Somes served actively in the Regulator movement, and 
is a substantial farmer and citizen. 

ANDREW J. TAGGART is the son of James and Sarah (McCasson) 
Taggart, of Salem County, N. J., who moved in 1823 or 1824 to Muskingum 
County, Ohio, where Andrew J., one of nine children, was born May 18, 
1829. James Taggart died in Licking County, Ohio, in 1837, after residing 
there two years. Mrs. Sarah Taggart subsequently went to Fairfield County, 
Ohio, where her death occurred May 29. 1869. They were both descendants 
of Quaker families, and Mr. Taggart followed tailoring in the early part of his 
life, but latterly became a farmer. In 1853, Andrew J. Taggart started from 
Hebron, Licking Co., Ohio, overland to California, in company with four others. 
While in Salt Lake Valley, the Mormons threatened to prosecute them for 
burning timber on Government land, the Mormons claiming it as their own. 
In California Mr. Taggart kept a trading-post near the summit of the Sierra 
Range, about two months, during which time he met with an adventure with a 


grizzly bear. For three years lie was engaged in mining, then returned to 
Licking County, Ohio, arriving December 31, 1856. He came to this town- 
ship in 1857, and was married, February 4, 1858, to Helen M. Gould. She 
was born September 5, 1839, in Marion County, Ohio, and her parents, natives 
respectively of Vermont and Ohio, were Hiram and Abigail (Brundage) Gould. 
Mr. and Mrs. Taggart had five children, three now living — Jennie A., Hiram 
J. and Frank. Mrs. Taggart died April 7, 1873, and Mr. Taggart was mar- 
ried to Nancy J. Schermerhorn June 21, 1877. She was born in this county 
March Iti, 1855. Her parents were Michael and Mary (Poynter) Schermer- 
horn, Maud A. is the only child of the subject and wife. Mr. Taggart is a 
member of the I. 0. 0. F., which order he joined in California. 

JAMES THOMPSON was born in Marion County, Ohio, December 11, 
1835, and is the eldest child of Joel and Lucinda (Odle) Thompson. The lat- 
ter was born July 21, 1810, in Maryland. Her father, William Odle, served 
in the war of 1812, and was stationed several months at Fort Wayne. tJoel 
Thompson, a native of Pennsylvania, born February 26, 1813, was orphaned 
at an early age, but cared for until the age of thirteen by an uncle, John 
Thompson, by whom he was taken to Marion County, Ohio, and afterward lived 
with James Dota until he became of age. He was married, February 9, 1835, 
and settled on eighty acres of land given him by Mr. Dota in Marion County. 
In 1842, he sold out and came to this county ; bought eighty acres of land on 
Brushy Prairie, built a house and began clearing. He again sold in 1854, and 
came to this township ; bought a farm of eighty acres ; sold in 1862, and 
removed to La Grange, where he died December 28, 1868. Mrs. Lucinda 
Thompson died at the home of the subject in this township May 2, 1875. She 
was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. James Thompson was com- 
monly educated and reared on his father's farm. November 2, 1859, he was 
married to Miss Patience Clark, who was born in Fulton County, N. Y., 
August 5, 1835, the daughter of John Y. and Hester (Westbrook) Clark. They 
have two childrern — Clara B. and Lenora. For six years Mr, Thompson farmed 
on shares for his father, then removed to Johnson Township, this county. In 1871, 
he bought the farm of eighty acres in this township where he continues to reside. 

EDWARD W. VALENTINE is the son of John and Sarah (Talbott) 
Valentine, natives of Maryland. In early manhood, John Valentine went to 
Fairfield County, Ohio, where he owned a farm and was married. About 1828, 
he moved to Seneca County, Ohio, entered 160 acres, and lived there until his 
death, which occurred in October, 1863. He served in the war of 1812. Mrs. 
Sarah Valentine died in November, 1867. They were both members of the M. 
E. Church, and had a family of ten children. Edward W. was born in Seneca 
County, Ohio, March 5, 1832, and, until he became of age, worked on the home 
farm ; after which, he farmed for his father eleven years on shares. In 1864, 
he removed to and located permanently in this township, where he owns a well- 
improved farm of 120 acres. September 6, 1855, he was married to Lydia A. 
Coon, who was born in Canada February 10, 1839, and is one of seven in the 
family of J. W. and Eliza C (Shipman) Coon, natives of Canada. Mr. Valen- 
tine is a reliable and enterprising Republican citizen. They have had a family 
of five children — Salina B. (now Mrs. Rose), Viola V., Revilow L. (who died 
at his father's home, February 4, 1882, in his twenty-second year), Nettie M. 
and Lilly Bertha. 

DAVID VAN KIRK is a native of Westmoreland County, Penn., where 
he was born August 20, 1827. His parents, Thomas and Eleanor (Johnson) Van 


Kirk, were born in the same county — September 16, 1791, and October 17, 
1800, being the respective dates of their births ; ten of eleven children born to 
them are yet living. Thomas Van Kirk was in the war of 1812, moved to Rich- 
land County, Ohio, in 1830, and two years afterward entered eighty acres of 
land in Seneca County, that he subsequently traded for 160 acres of improved 
land in Huron County, Ohio. He sold this farm in 1845, and came to this 
township, built a saw and carding mill, which he was engaged in operating up 
to the time of his death, which occurred September 1, 1861. David Van Kirk 
worked in his father's mill from 1846 to 1850, and after his marriage, Novem- 
ber 2, 1851, farmed on shares several years, buying, in 1855, the farm upon 
which he now dwells. It compi'ises 108 acres, and the log cabin is yet standing 
where they first lived. Mr. Van Kirk, since 1848, has been a member of the 
Meridian Sun Lodge, No. 76, A., F. & A. M., and has represented the same in 
the Grand Lodge ; he also belongs to the La Grange Chapter, No. 36, R. A. M., 
of which he was High Priest four years. Mrs. Van Kirk was formerly Lucre- 
tia Newell, and was born in Wayne County, N. Y., January 27, 1828. She is 
one of eleven children born to Thomas B. and Lois (Thurston) Newell. The par- 
ents were natives of New York, and early pioneers of La Grange County ; his 
birth occurred April 15, 1801, and hers December 3, 1802. Mr. and Mrs. 
Van Kirk have three children — Lucretia I. (now Mrs. McNutt), Lissa A. (now 
Mrs. McKibbin), and David A. The subject's mother yet survives, and is a 
resident of Iowa. 

BENJAMIN W. VESEY is one of six children in the family of William 
and Adaline (Copeland) Vesey, natives of Orange County, Vt., where also the 
subject was born February 8, 1829. William Vesey, in 1835, emigrated to 
Lake County, Ohio, thence to Elkhart County, Ind., in 1838. Here he bought 
120 acres of land that he subsequently sold, removing to a farm near Goshen. 
He was a Democrat, and, in 1862, was elected Sheriff of Elkhart County ; 
served in the late war as a private some time, but afterward was detailed in the 
Commissary Department until he was discharged. October 3, 1872, he died at 
his home, and being a member of the A., F. & A. M., was buried with Masonic 
honors. Benjamin Vesey received a fair education, and one year attended the 
University at Greencastle, Ind. In 1849, he went overland with an ox team 
to California, where he was engaged in mining and teaming until 1851, when 
he returned to Indiana, and bought a farm in Lima Township, this county ; 
sold in 1855, and bought one in Springfield Township in 1857, removing in 
1864 to La Grange, and settling on his present farm of 365 acres in 1865. In 
1853, February 8, he married Sarah P. Waterhouse, the daughter of Joseph 
and Esther (Penley) Waterhouse, natives of Maine, and parents of nine children. 
Sarah P. was born in Androscoggin County, Me., February 26, 1836. Mr. 
and Mrs. Vesey have a family of five children, viz., George E., William J., 
Allen J., Charles E. and John H. Mr. Vesey is a Republican, and a leading 


CHARLES L. ATWATER was born in Luzerne County, Penn., April 
11, 1843, son of Thomas S. and Hannah (Enoes) Atwater, natives of the Empire 
State. They were married in Pennsylvania, and removed to this township in 
1855. In their family were four sons — Myron, Charles L., John E. and Mon- 


roe. The father was a blacksmith, but in this State followed farming. He 
was a Democrat, a strong Union man and a Christian. He amassed a com- 
fortable fortune, and died in 1870, and his wife in 1875. Charles L. was 
reared upon a farm and received a fair education. At majority he began 
farming for himself After three years he erected a saw-mill in Van Buren 
Township, and after two years moved it to Newbury Township, where he suc- 
cessfully operated it some four years longer. He then sold out, came to Lima, 
and engaged in the furniture trade. He was burned out in 1878,. and the same 
year erected two two-story brick business rooms in Lima, one of which he now 
occupies as a furniture sales room. He keeps a good line of goods, and is steadily 
increasing his business. He owns 160 acres of land in Van Buren Township, 
and a nice residence in Lima. He was married to Miss Sarah Boor, Septem- 
ber 8, 1870 ; a native of Illinois, and born July 4, 1850. Three children have 
been born to them — Artimus S., Gussie and Jennie M. 

HENRY H. BASSLER, son of John and Barbara (Hostettler) Bassler, 
natives of Lancaster County, Penn., and descendants of Swiss ancestors. Henry 
H. was born in Lancaster County, Penn., August 18, 1824, but his parents dying 
when he was a boy he resided with relatives until manhood, working at farm- 
ing. He received but a common-school education, and November 11, 1845, was 
married to Elizabeth Rohrer, born in Washington County, Md., July 11, 1824. 
Soon after Mr. Bassler moved to Erie County, Penn., where he resided until the 
spring of 1860, and then removed to La Grange County, locating in Green- 
field, where he lived until 1868, and then moved to Lima. Mr. Bassler has 
always followed farming, with the exception of seven years, when he was en- 
gaged in grain trade. He owns 108 acres of good land, besides valuable town 
property in Lima. He has, by his own endeavors, worked his way from a poor 
boy to a substantial citizen. In politics he is a Republican, and has held va- 
rious township positions. He and wife are the parents of three children — Ja- 
cob R., Aaron C. and Susan H. Only the last named is now living. She is 
the wife of John Lazenby, and resides in Lima Township. 

PETER BEISEL, son of Peter and Mary (Carver) Beisel, natives of 
Pennsylvania, where they were raised and married. The father was a hatter, 
and soon after his marriage engaged in mercantile pursuits in Gettysburg, Penn., 
but at the end of a few years removed to Baltimore, where he met with business 
reverses, and in 1830 came to White Pigeon, Mich., and the succeeding year 
moved his family there, where they ever afterward made their home. Mr. 
Beisel had accumulated considerable property at the time of his death, in 1839. 
He and wife had four sons and one daughter. The subject of this biography 
was born in Adams County, Penn., February 26, 1814. He lived at home until 
about twenty-two years old. In 1837, he came to Lexington, in Greenfield 
Township, and engaged in mercantile business with A. K. Brower. In 1848, 
he sold out and then erected a grist-mill. In 1853, he sold this and purchased, 
where he now lives, 420 acres of fine farming and grazing land. Mr. 
Beisel is a Republican, was formerly a Whig, served in the Black Hawk war, 
and was the first Postmaster at Lexington. He was married, August 18, 1839, 
to Margaret Ellison, born in Ireland August 10, 1816. To them were born 
ten children — Mary S., Margaret A., Julia L., Rebecca, Andrew M., Thomas 
J., living; and Sarah J., Elizabeth F., Francis J. and George W., deceased. 
Mrs. Beisel died February 24, 1871. 

SAMUEL BURNELL is one of the oldest resident citizens in the 
county, born in Yorkshire, England, December 24, 1809. His parents, Will- 


iam and Hannah (Haller) Burnell, were natives of Yorkshire, and had a fam- 
ily of twelve children. In 1829, our subject emigrated to the United States, 
and for about a year worked by the month for John Coats, a farmer near White 
Pigeon, Mich. In 1830, Thomas Burnell, a brother of Samuel, came to the 
United States, and soon after the two brothers went to Greenfield Township, 
where Samuel pre-empted 160 acres of land on English Prairie. About this 
time, the parents emigrated to this country and located at White Pigeon, where, 
in 1837, the father died, aged seventy-three years, and his wife three 3'ears 
later, aged sixty-five. Samuel worked on a farm and at the carpenter's trade 
some years after coming to this county, investing his savings in land. He 
lived upon his farm in Greenfield Township some twenty-five years, with the 
exception of the years 1836 and 1837, which he spent as contractor and builder 
in Milwaukee, Wis. In 1862, he rented his farm and moved to Lima. April 
4, 1839, he married Miss Mary A. Mason, born in New York State, Novem- 
ber 29, 1817. They have three children — Ellen, John and Jennie. Mr. Bur- 
nell helped to organize and was a director of the Indiana State Bank, of Lima, 
and is a large stockholder in the present Lima Bank. He is a Republican, a 
member of the Episcopal Church, and a most worthy citizen. 

DANIEL W. COLE was born in Wayne County, N. Y., August 22, 
1822, a son of Peter J. and Amy (Corwin) Cole, natives of the Empire State, 
where they were married, and in 1830 moved to near Detroit, Mich., which 
became their old home. The father was a farmer, and a hard-working, sober 
and well-respected citizen. Daniel W. is one of five children. When but a small 
boy his mother died, and at the age of nineteen he left home and began life's 
battle on his own responsibility. In 1840, he came to Lima, purchased a 
threshing machine, and for twenty seasons followed threshing. After some 
time, by close economy, he was enabled to purchase a small piece of land. He 
has increased his acres, and now owns 400 well-improved in Lima Township, 
and 110 acres in St. Joseph County, Mich. He was married to Melonia 
Stevens, November 26, 1846, a native of Orleans County, N. Y., born March 
2, 1826. They had five children— Byron J., Amelia E., Lydia, Celia and 
Cora. Mr. Cole is a member the Baptist Church, and a Republican. When 
he came to Lima his wealth consisted in 25 cents, a good constitution, and a 
determination to be somebody. His present circumstances illustrate his success 
in life. 

REV. CHRISTOPHER CORY is one of the oldest settlers and best 
known citizens in the connty. He was born January 13, 1800, at Westfield, 
N. J., and is one of eight children born to Benjamin and Susanna (Denman) 
Cory, also natives of New Jersey. The father was for many years an Elder in 
the Presbyterian Church. Christopher Cory was reared upon a farm, and up 
to twenty-one years of age, had received but a good common-school education. 
He then entered an academy preparatory to the study of theology. He was 
licensed to preach when twentv-six years of age, and one year later was ordained 
a minister of the Presbyterian Church. Soon after, he was assigned a charge 
in a mining district of Pennsylvania, where he labored some time, and then 
went to Orange County, N. Y. In 1832, he was sent by the Home Missionary 
Society of the Presbyterian Church as an evangelist to labor among the In- 
dians and early settlers of Southern Michigan and Northern Indiana. He 
began at Lima, Ind., and at the end of the fourth year was able to report to 
the society the organization of eight churches. He continued to work until 
1848, when from a throat difficulty he was compelled to quit active service. In 


1827, he married Miss Mary H. Baker, born in Westfield, N. J., May 2, 1801. 
To this union were born four children — William B., James R., Mary P. and 
Henry M. Mrs. Cory died April 13, 1877 ; she was a most worthy Christian 
lady. Mr. Cory lives with a son upon the old homestead, and has the respect 
of all who know him. 

JOHN CRAIG (deceased), one of the old pioneers of La Grange County, 
Ind., was born in Pennsylvania December 23, 1784, and was there reared to 
manhood. He married Miss Jane Derr, who was born in the same State in 
1796, and to them were born the following children : James, Esther, Joseph, 
Serena, John, Robert and Mary. In 1835, they left their native State and 
started West to obtain a new home. They stopped one year in Crawford County, 
Ohio ; then came to La Grange County, and located on the farm now owned by 
Augustus Hamilton in Lima Township. The country at that time was an almost 
unbroken forest with wild animals in abundance. Mr. Craig was a poor man 
when he arrived here, but went to work with success. He had the confidence 
and respect of his friends and neighbors. He died December 1. 1875, at the 
advanced age of ninety-one years. His widow yet survives him and resides in 
Lima Township at the age of eighty-six years. The following are sketches of 
four of the sons : 

James Craig was born in Columbia County, Penn., April 1, 1820. He 
was reared on a farm and assisted his parents in their labors. He always lived 
with his parents, and in this way the father and sons worked together, but now 
the sons each own separate farms. James owns 160 acres of good land. He 
is a Republican, a member of the Baptist Church, and an enterprising citizen. 

Joseph Craig was born September 23, 1823, in Columbia County, Penn., 
and, in 1836, came with his parents to this county where he has since resided. 
He received a common-school education, and February 1, 1855, married Miss 
Louisa R. Stevens, born in Orleans County, N. Y., February 28, 1833. To 
this union were born two children — Edith L. and James E. The mother died 
May 1, 1881. She was a good wife, a kind and loving mother and a Christian. 
Her death was mourned by a large circle of friends. Joseph Craig is a Repub- 
lican. He owns 100 acres of well-improved land, and is a successful farmer of 
Lima Township. 

John F. D. Craig was born in Columbia County, Penn., April 17, 1830, 
and was reared upon a farm, and received his education in the log schoolhouse. 
He was united in marriage with Miss Augusta L. Bishop January 20, 1857, 
who was born in Dutchess County, N. Y., March 29, 1832. To them have been 
born four children, viz., Edward D., Gertrude A. and Edith M., living; and 
Frances E., deceased. Mr. Craig owns 236 acres of well-improved land. He 
raises good stock of all kinds, and is a practical and successful farmer in Lima 
Township. He is a Republican, and he and wife are hospitable, public-spirited 

Robert Craig was born in Columbia County, Penn., and reared in Lima 
Township. He married Miss Jennette Keith December 12, 1865, who was born 
in Lima Township March 3, 1843, a daughter of Sidney and Sophia (Wilder) 
Keith, who were among the first settlers of the county. Robert Craig followed 
farming, and was much respected. He died September 27, 1877. To him and 
wife were born two children, viz., Alton K. and Jennie J. Mrs. Craig resides 
upon the old homestead, and is a lady of social and moral worth. The Craig 
family stand well in the county, and are appreciated for their unassuming ways, 
goodness of heart, and strict integrity. 


JOHN CRAIG. This gentleman was born in Columbia County, Penn., 
February 1, 1826. He is the son of Joseph and Sarah Craig, both natives of 
the Keystone State. John was reared upon a farm, receiving a common-school 
education, and December 26, 1865, was united in marriage to Miss Sarah A. 
Johnston. She was born in the same county as her husband, June 5, 1829. 
To them have been born two children, viz.: Sarah E. and Joseph S. In 
1857, came to this county, which he has since made his home. He began life 
as a poor boy and is a self-made man. He is a Democrat, but liberal in his 
views. He owns 160 acres of good land and is a respected and useful citizen. 

WILLIAM CRAIG was born in Columbia County, Penn,, November 5, 
1827, a son of Joseph and Sarah Craig. His father was born in North- 
umberland County, Penn., in 1800, and his mother in Luzerne County, 
Penn., in 1797. They were reared and married in their native State, 
and to them were born three sons and three daughters. Joseph Craig 
was a farmer and an honorable man ; he died in 1845, but his widow 
is yet living. William Craig received only a common-school education. 
On the death of his father he took charge of the home farm, and has since 
cared for his aged mother, who lives with him as does also a sister. In 1854, 
he first came to Lima, Ind., but after two years returned, and in 1857 brought 
his mother here, where he purchased 240 acres of land. This property has 
since been divided among the heirs, our subject now owning 120 acres; this he 
has nicely improved. Mr. Craig is a practical and successful farmer and stock- 
raiser. He has always been a Democrat and still works in the ranks of that 

GEORGE H. DAYTON, M. D., is one of the oldest and most successful 
practitioners of medicine in Northern Indiana; was born in Newark, N. J., 
January 15, 1824, the only child born to George C. and Phoebe W. (Little) 
Dayton, both natives of that State. This family of Daytons are descended 
from one Ralph Dayton, who came from Bedfordshire, England, in 1673, and 
located on Long Island. His descendants have been called upon to fill positions 
of honor and trust in difierent States and under the Federal Government, and 
the name is one of the most widely known in the country. George C. Dayton 
held an Ensign's Commission in the State Militia of New Jersey, and was for 
many years engaged in the mercantile business in the city of New York. It 
was from the schools there that our subject graduated at the early age of fifteen 
years. He then entered the Literary Department of the University of that 
city, where he remained some three years, when he began the study of medicine 
with Dr. Valentine Mott, and in 1845 graduated in medicine. In 1846, he 
came to Ontario, this county, and practiced until 1879, when he moved to 
Lima. September 20, 1864, he married Miss Louisa Thompson, born in Mor- 
ris County, N. J., November 24, 1834. To them two children have been born, 
viz.: George and Mary. Dr. Dayton is a Republican and a member of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church. He is a member of the difi"erent medical asso- 
ciations of Indiana and Michigan, and of the National Medical Association. 
He is a close student of pathology, as he finds it in nature, and has been a 
leader in the use of new and rational remedies. 

WILLIAM H. DEPUY was born in Sullivan County, N. Y., July 19, 
1813 ; his parents were Moses M. and Elizabeth (Hedges) DePuy, natives of 
Long Island, N. Y., where they were married and shortly after moved to Sul- 
livan County, and thence to Livingston County, N. Y., in 1813, and in 1836 
they moved to Marshall County, Mich. After a time they removed to Wiscon- 


sin, and then returned to Michigan, where they afterward died. Mr. DePuy 
was a tanner and currier, also a shoemaker. He and wife were parents of thir- 
teen children. William H., at sixteen, served at the brick and stone-mason 
and plasterer's trade. In 1834, he came to Sturgis, Mich., and purchased a 
farm. lie taught school in the village of Sturgis the winter of 1834-35. In 
1844, he came to Lima. In 1851, he went overland to California, where he 
mined and worked at his trade until 1853, when he came back and engaged in 
mercantile pursuits in Lima. Since 1861, Mr. DePuy has been engaged in 
various callings. He is a Republican, and has been Postmaster of Lima seven 
years, and Justice of the Peace of Lima Township twelve years. Mr. DePuy 
was married September 3, 1845, to Harriet A. Hanson, born in Connecticut in 
September, 1816, and died May 21, 1869. Their children were Harriet, 
Charles, Helen, Lyman, Harrison, James, Mary and Ellen. March 5, 1872, 
Mr. DePuy married his present wife, Mrs. Lydia Favourite, born in Elkhart 
County, Ind., March 15, 1842. Mr. DePuy is a Mason, and his son Charles 
served four vears in quelling the rebellion. 

NEWTON ENOE is a native of Hartford County, Conn., born Septem- 
ber 11. 1799, one of four children to Oliver and Electa (Colton) Enoe, natives 
respectively of Connecticut and Massachusetts. The mother dying when New- 
ton was an infant he was raised by his grandmother until old enough to work 
for himself. He learned the tanners and currier's trade, and worked at that a 
number of years. In 1823, he married Electa Walker, a native of Vermont, 
and in 1835 emigrated to Elkhart County, Ind., where his wife died soon after- 
ward, leaving two sons — Newton G. and Orange W. In 1845, Mr. Enoe re- 
moved to La Grange County. His present wife was Miss Elizabeth Blair, 
born in Ross County, Ohio, November 11, 1809, daughter of Benjamin and 
Elizabeth (Houlton) Blair, natives of Pennsylvania, who removed to Defiance 
County, Ohio, in 1824, and in 1828 removed to La Grange County, locating 
about a mile west of the present site of Lima. They had four children — Fran- 
cis A., A. H., Benjamin H. and Elizabeth, only the last named, Mrs. Enoe, 
living. In 1832, Mr. Blair died of cholera. Newton Enoe was formerly a 
Whig, and became a Republican on the organization of that party. Mrs. 
Enoe is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and has bravely shared all ad- 
versities and labors with her husband in building the home with which they are 

TIMOTHY FIELD was born June 8, 1811, in Windham County, Vt., 
son of Timothy and Welthy (Bishop) Field, natives of Madison, Conn. The 
father was a graduate of Yale College, and a Congregational minister. In about 
1800, he went to Canandaigua, N. Y., and built the first church in that place. 
He remained in this field of labor some seven years, when he moved to Wind- 
ham County, Vt., where he ever after resided. He was twice married. By the 
first wife there were five children, and by the second, three. Our subject at 
fourteen years of age entered Canandaigua Academy, where he remained two 
years, and then accepted a position as clerk in his brother's store. He remained 
in Ontario County, N. Y., engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1838, when he 
came to this county, purchased a tract of land which he cleared and nicely im- 
proved. Since 1872, he has been engaged in merchandising. He was married 
to Miss Hannah Mosher in 1840. She was born in Romulus, N. Y., May 9, 
1809, and died December 13, 1871. Mr. Field married Miss Ellen L. Foote 
October 31, 1874. She was born in Mount Morris, N. Y., March 3, 1849. 
They had two children, viz., Timothy B. and Gertrude E. Mr. Field was twice 


elected to the Legislature of the State. Was Enrolling and Draft Commissioner 
for La Grange County during the late war, and has held the oflfice of County 
Commissioner three years, besides other offices. He is the Postmaster at On- 
tario, and a member of the Congregational Church, and in politics a Republican. 

ABBOTT FLEMING- was born in Sussex County, N. J., November 25, 
1813. This family of Flemings are descended from one Malcolm Fleming, 
who died in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1736. He had three sons — Thomas, 
William and Andrew, who, in 1751, came to America and settled in Hunterdon 
County, N. J. Thomas had three children — Thomas, James and Margaret. 
William had one son — Andrew ; and he, five children — William, Eleanor, Mar- 
tha, Malcolm and Margaret. William, the eldest, is the father of our subject. 
He was a native of New Jersey, also his wife, Elizabeth Cook. The father 
passed almost his lifetime near Alexandria, N. J., where he was engaged in 
agricultural pursuits. He was for many years a Trustee and Elder of the Pres- 
byterian Church. He died in 1833. To him and wife were born the follow- 
ing : Eleanor, Jacob C, Thomas, Andrew, William, Joanna, Tylee and Abbott. 
Our subject was brought up on a farm. When about seventeen years of age, 
he began working at the stone-mason and plasterer's trades, and after his ap- 
prenticeship, engaged in business for himself. In 1837, he came to this county 
and settled on the farm he now owns in Lima Township. May 6, 1837, he mar- 
ried Miss Margaret Semple, born near Glasgow, Scotland, November 16, 1815. 
To them was born a son — William. They also adopted a daughter — Eliza J., 
wife of David Leighton. William, their son, has been twice married. His 
first wife was Mary J. Howard, who was the mother of his only child — Oren A. 
His second wife was Mary A. Craig, Abbott Fleming is a stanch Republican, 
and an Elder in the Lima Baptist Church. 

ASA E. GANIARD was born in Ontario County, N. Y., August 31, 
1833, the son of Silas and Lucinda (Wilder) Ganiard, natives of Bristol, On- 
tario Co., N. Y. They were married in their native State and removed to 
Hillsdale County, Mich., in early times, which became their permanent home. 
They had five children, whom they reared in a creditable manner, giving them 
such advantages as their means afforded. Asa E. remained on the home farm 
until twenty-three years of age. He was married to Miss Jane Keith July 3, 
1856. This lady was born in Lima Township April 9, 1838, the daughter of 
Sidney and Sophia (Wilder) Keith, natives of New York State and among the 
first settlers of La Grange County. Mr. Keith was well and favorably known, 
and among the first County Commissioners. By our subject's marriage to Miss 
Keith, there has been born to them four children, viz. : William B., James W., 
Asa E. and Sidney K. In 1859, Mr. Ganiard came to this township and 
engaged in farming and stock-raising. In 1864, he went overland to the Pa- 
cific Slope, making his home in California and Oregon five years, during which 
time he was at work in quartz mills. Since his return he has followed farming. 
He owns 120 acres of well improved land in Lima Township. He is a stanch 
Republican and possesses good social qualities. 

WILLIAM HILL was born in Derbyshire, England, September 1, 1821, 
son of Thomas and Mary (Peat) Hill, natives of England. The father was a 
carpenter, and in 1831 emigrated, with his family, to Pennsylvania. In 1835, 
he moved to Michigan, and in about three years removed to Cook County, 111., 
and then returned to Michigan, near Sturgis, where he engaged in farming. 
William Hill, at twenty-one years of age, learned the molder's trade, and 
after working four years in Sturgis came to Lima, then went to Coldwater. 


In 1848, he returned to Lima, and two years later purchased the Lima Found- 
ry, which he operated, in connection with A. L. Taylor, until the spring of 
1861. Mr. Hill then sold his interest and engaged in th6 hardware and dry 
goods trade. After the winter of 1863, he dealt in real estate about two years, 
and then again engaged in hardware trade — during this time carrying on his 
farming. He continued the hardware trade alone and in partnership with 
Joseph Bunnell until 1878, when he sold out and has since been farming and 
operating in real estate. Mr. Hill is in good circumstances. He owns 450 
acres of land in La Grange County, 250 in Michigan, besides some in Kansas 
and valuable town property in Lima. He is a Republican. June 20, 1847, 
he married Miss Lucinda Sparks, born in Genesee County, N. Y., June 29, 
1830. To them have been born three children — Ellen, February 13, 1853; 
James W., January 13, 1857; and Mary I., August 5, 1858. 

GEORGE and LEVI HORNING. George Horning was born in 
Cumberland County, Penn.,July 24, 1811, and Levi in the same county, January 
29, 1823, sons of George and Susanna (Myers) Horning, natives of Lancaster 
County, Penn.,who were married in their native county, and soon after moved to 
Cumberland County, and in 1849 came to Lima Township, where they after- 
ward resided. They had a family of two sons and two daughters, and were 
industrious and intelligent people. George and Levi, after their parents' death,, 
took charge of the home place, which became theirs. The two brothers farmed 
in common, sharing equally. George has always remained single, and in early 
life learned and worked at the blacksmith's trade. Levi was married to Miss- 
Rachel Zeigler, July 4, 1856. She was born in Cumberland County, Penn.^ 
April 11, 1826. From this union there are six children, viz.: Manuel, Ezra^ 
Cornelius, Mary, Frederick and Albert. Levi Horning departed this life Jan- 
uary 18, 1874. He was a kind husband and father, and was universally re- 
spected. George resides upon the old homestead with his brother's widow. 
The Hornings are among the most worthy people of the county. 

JOHN B. HOWE, born of English parents in the city of Boston, March 
3, 1813, was destined by force of character, and by natural ability, to achieve 
his present honored position. His father, the Rev. James B. Howe, an elo- 
quent minister of the Episcopal Church, and his beloved mother, whose maiden- 
name was Sarah Badlam (the name having been changed from Bedlow, in re- 
cording an early deed), were Puritans, who gave fair education to their family 
of eight children. The father was a graduate of Harvard College, and an 
earnest advocate of education and morals. Stephen Badlam was Brigadier 
General of militia, who joined the Colonial army in 1775, and the following 
year, as Major of artillery, took possession, July 4, of the point which, from 
this circumstance, was named Mount Independence. After the war, he located 
at Dorchester, where he became Magistrate, and Deacon of the Church. At the 
age of sixteen, John B. Howe entered Trinity College, from which institution 
he graduated at the age of nineteen. This was in 1832, and in autumn of the- 
same year he went to Detroit, thence to Marshall, Mich., and in 1833 he moved 
to Lima. He had read law in Michigan, was subsequently admitted to the 
bar, and for a number of years practiced with success. Of late years he has 
been engaged in banking. He is the author of several volumes on Political 
Economy and Finance, his logic and research securing the commendations of 
able critics. He was a member of the State Legislature of 1840, representing 
the counties of Steuben, De Kalb, Noble and La Grange ; and, in 1850, was a 
member of the Indiana State Constitutional Convention, at which time, he, as 


a Whig, advocated measures regarding the slave, identical with those afterward 
adhered to by the minority of Justices in the Dred Scott decision. In 18-16, 
Mr. Howe was married to Miss Frances Gidden, a native of the Granite State, 
who was born in 1825. Mr. Howe has a beautiful home, and enjoys that satis- 
faction resulting from a life of charity and humanity. 

MRS. SARAH A. HUDSON was born December 10, 1823, in Port Gib- 
son, Ontario County, N. Y., daughter of Stephen and Normanda (Finney) Ailing. 
The father was a native of New York and the mother of Connecticut. They 
were married in the Empire State and were the parents of two children. Mrs. 
Hudson received a common-school education, and remained at home until her 
marriage with Mr. Isaac G. Hudson, which occurred, October 8, 1850. He 
was born in Chatham, Columbia County, N. Y., March 31, 1819, and soon 
after his marriage moved to Wayne County, N. Y., remaining there until 1854, 
when he moved to this county, and purchased the farm now Mrs. Hudson's 
home. In less than a year after their arrival in this county Mr. Hudson died. 
He was a man of extended information, and a graduate of the Weslyan Sem- 
inary, of Lima, N. Y. His death was a great loss. In his family were the 
following children : Sarah J., Pliny E. and Isaac G. Mrs. Hudson's old 
homestead comprises 200 acres of well improved land. Pliny E. has the man- 
agement of it, and is a practical and successful farmer. He is a Republican, 
enterprising and public spirited. 

ELIAS KEPLINGER was born November 9, 1815, in Washington 
Oounty, Md., one of a family of nine sons and three daughters born to Joseph 
and Catharine 4Sn3^der) Keplinger, natives of Maryland. The parents moved 
to Virginia, near Harper's Ferry, soon after their marriage, and from there, in 
1832, to Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Here the father died at the age of eighty- 
four years. His widow survives him. and is eighty-six. Elias Keplinger was 
brought up to farm labor. He married Miss Emily Hoverstock, in 1812. She 
■was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, January 25, 1825. They had seven 
children, four of whom are yet living, viz. : Catharine, Mary E., Charles H. 
and Etta M. Mrs. Keplinger died February 22, 1865. Mr. Keplinger mar- 
ried Miss Lydia A. Medaugh, a native of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, for his 
second wife. She died, December 5, 1878. December 11, 1879, he was united 
in marriage with Miss Lizzie Fridlie. born in the canton of Berne, Switzer- 
land, May 13, 1844. Mr. Keplinger came to this county in 1864, and pur- 
chased his present farm. He began life as a poor boy, and is a self-made man. 
He is a Republican, a member of the M. E. Church, and a successful farmer 
and stock grower. 

OMAR A. KIMBALL, was born in Orland, Steuben Co., Ind.. November 
9, 1837. He is the son of Augustus Kimball, a native of the Empire State, 
who came with his parents to Calhoun County, Mich., in 1833. After two 
years the family removed to Orland, where the grandfather of our subject 
erected one of the first grist-mills in Northeastern Indiana. Here Augustus 
Kimball married Miss Eliza Eaton, and to them were born three children. He 
has been engaged in farming and milling at Orland for some time. Omar A. 
Kimball received a common-school education, and when fourteen years old was 
apprenticed to the blacksmith's trade, serving a term of five years at $S per 
month. After he had learned his trade, he worked in Orland some time, and 
then went to Sturgis, Mich., and worked over three years. In 1857, he came 
to Lima, but soon after went West, stopping two years in Kansas. He then 
returned to Lima, and worked at his trade until 1862, when he enlisted in 


Company C, One Hundredth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He became regi- 
mental blacksmith, and served until the close of the war. Since his return 
from the array, he has worked at his trade in Lima. He was married, January 
18, 1861, to Mrs. Emily L. Morse, born in Williamson, N. Y., May 27, 1829, 
to Zirari and Vashti (Overton) Atwater, who removed from New York State to 
Lima Township, in 1835. They were the parents of nine children. There 
was one child born to Mrs. Kimball by her first marriage, viz. : Loren. From 
her union with Mr. Kimball there were two, viz. : Lillie and Charley. Mr. 
Kimball owns a large two-story brick building where he carries on his trade. 
He owns a nice home property, and is doing a good business. He is a 

J. CALVIN KINNEY, is a native of Burlington, Vt., and is of Scotch 
descent. The family came to the United States during the seventeenth 
century. The grandfather of our subject assisted the Colonies in their struggle 
for independence, and two of his sons served in the war of 1812 — one as a 
Captain. John C. Kinney was a machinist, and when a young man worked at 
his trade in New York, where he married Miss Amy Rowley, and soon after- 
ward moved to Burlington, Vt. After some years, he removed to Huron 
County, Ohio, and in 1832 started on horseback through Indiana. He returned 
to Ohio the same year, and in 1833 moved his family to Lima, and ever after- 
ward made La Grange County his home. For some years he carried the mail 
on horseback from Toledo through to Fort Defiance, White Pigeon and other 
places, and, while engaged at this, died. J. Calvin Kinney was born January 
3, 1828. When seventeen years old, he learned the shoemaker's trade. After 
working at this eight years, and farming three years, he came to Lima. In 
1855, removed with his family to Minnesota, but returned in three years. Mr. 
Kinney assisted in the organization of the First National Bank of Lima, and 
engaged in banking, brokerage, collecting and dealing in real estate, and has 
arisen to a position of wealth and comfort. He was married, February 22, 
1848, to Miss Teressa GrifFeth, who was born in Wayne County, N. Y., July 27, 
182y. To this union were born seven daughters — Alice T., Amy E., Arroma 
L., Amelia M., Annettie D., Ada C. and Annie L. 

JOHN R. KIRBY was born in Leicestershire, Eng., March 2, 1802, one 
of eleven children born to John and Charlotte (Reddals) Kirby, who emigrated 
to this country in 1831 and settled in Lake County, Ohio. They were mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. John R., when young, began work- 
ing at hosiery making. He came to this country with his parents and engaged 
in farming near Painesville, Ohio. He was married in England, in 1829, to 
Miss Hannah Kirby. They had two children — Albert, who died at seven 
years of age, and Amy L., who died May 18, 1861. She married John Tay- 
lor, of Lima. They had one child. Mrs. Hannah Kirby died in 1847. On 
the 5th of October, 1859, he married Mrs. Abigail W. (Charter) Durand, born 
in Burton, Ohio, May 13, 1815. They had three sons, viz.: Burritt E., 
Charles P. and James A. The latter is the only one living. He was born in 
1853, and married Miss Emma White in 1879, She was born in Lancaster, 
Penn., in 1858. All the Durand boys received a liberal education, Burritt E. 
graduating from the Iron City College, at Pittsburgh, Penn., July 14, 1865. 
James A. is engaged in the drug trade at Lima. Mr. John R. Kirby came 
to Lima in 1859, and after about three years engaged in the drug trade. 
In 1878, ill health compelled him to retire. He and his wife are members of 
the M. E. Church. 


ALONZO D. MOHLER, A. M. and A. B., is a native of Montgomery 
County, Ohio, born January 26, 1848. His ancestors were from Germany, 
who came to this country in the eighteenth century. His father, Amos Mohler, 
was a native of the Keystone State and his mother (Maria Rasor) of Ohio. 
They were married in the Buckeye State and had ten children, of whom Alonzo 
D. was the eldest. The father, in early life, learned the carpenter trade and 
after his marriage took up contracting and building. He worked at his trade 
in Dayton, Ohio, a number of years, and then engaged in mercantile pursuits 
in Shelby County, Ohio. In 1865, he moved to Huntington, Ind., where he 
now resides. He is a man of intelligence and greatly aided in the remodeling 
of the old school law of Ohio. Alonzo D. Mohler learned the carpenter trade 
with his father ; after which he served an apprenticeship at cabinet-making. 
Up to the time he was twenty years of age he had received common education. 
After some private instruction, he entered Asbury University, at Greencastle, 
Ind., and in 1873 received the degree of Bachelor of Arts and in 1876 that 
■of Master of Arts. Soon after graduating, he took charge of the Muncie High 
School, and after one year came to La Grange to take charge of its public 
schools, which he has raised to their present high standard. He left the La 
Grange school and was given charge of the Lima school, with four assistant 
teachers. He was united in marriage with Miss Albina Davies January 1, 
1874; born in Huntington County, Ind., July 27, 1850. To them have been 
born two daughters, viz. : Inez and Ruth. Mr. Mohler is a Republican and a 
member of the M. E. Church. 

CHARLES G. NICHOLS, son of Drusus and Rebecca B. (Graves) 
Nichols, who were born, raised and married in Sherman, Litchfield County, 
Conn. In 1834, Mr. Nichols came to La Grange County, and purchased the 
mill at Mongo (or Union Mills). He operated this some two years, during 
which time he purchased a tract of land, and then returned to Connecticut for his 
family. Mr. Nichols was a thorough business man, and was largely engaged 
in farming, milling and mercantile pursuits, at one time owning a commission 
-warehouse in Fort Wayne. He assisted in building the old plank road in La 
Grange County, and was on hand where enterprise was required. Charles G. 
•was born September 13, 1835, in Litchfield County, Conn., and is the only 
survivor of three children. At the age of nine years he returned from Indi- 
ana to his native State, where he remained until eighteen, receiving a good 
common-school education. He was married, June 21, 1859, to Miss Ellen Bur- 
nell, who was born on English Prairie, La Grange County, May 8, 1840, and 
to them have been born the following family : Drusus B.. Mary, Charles S., 
Samuel B., Morse F. and Gunther. Mr. Nichols lived in Greenfield Township 
until within the past year, when he removed to Lima to educate his children. 
He is a Republican, and has held the position of County Real Estate Ap- 
praiser. He owns 450 acres of good land. 

SAMUEL S. PARKER was born in the city of Philadelphia, in 1817, 
son of Samuel Parker, a native of the Bay State, who, during the war of 1812, 
went to Philadelphia to work at carpentering, and there married Miss Sarah 
Long, a native of Nova Scotia. He worked at his trade in Petersburg, Va., 
and at other points, till 1818, when he moved to Columbia City, Penn., and sub- 
sequently to Genesee County, N. Y. In 1833, he came to Lima Township, 
with four double teams and a one horse buggy, probably the first brought to 
Lima Township. He bought a large tract of land and engaged in farming and 
stock-raising. He was a man of much more than ordinary ability, generous 


to a fault, and scrupulously honest. He died in 1857, and his wife in 1870. 
They had the following children : Lucy A., Samuel S., Lucy A., Ursula R., 
Orlinda, Roinilda. George H. and Columbus C, four of whom are yet living. 
Samuel S. married Miss Orilla French, in 1854. She was born in Lake 
County, Ohio, in 1833. They had ten children, viz. : George H., Orlinda, 
Theodore, Romilda, Rosamond, Mary and Fanny, living ; George, Timoleon 
and Homer, deceased. Mr. Parker owns 600 acres of land, and has a beauti- 
ful home just across the State line, in Fawn River Township, St. Joseph 
County, Mich. As a Republican, he has held the office of Justice of the 
Peace in the township in which he lives. 

JOEL SANDERSON was born in the town of Brookfield, Orange Co., 
Vt., December 26, 1816, son of James and Rebecca (Hovey) Sanderson. The 
father was the first white male child born in Woodstock, Vt. The mother was 
a native of Canterbury, Conn. They were married at Lyme, N. H., and took 
up their residence at Woodstock, Vt. In 1828, they removed to Huron 
County, Ohio. Here, September 2 of the same year, the father died. There 
were ten children — Joel being the youngest. He, soon after his father's death, 
began working out, receiving but small pay. During the winter months, he 
would work for his board and attend school. In this way, he received his edu- 
cation. His marriage with Miss Mary A. Legg occurred August 7, 1842. 
She was born in Chisleborough, England, August 11, 1816. They had eight 
children, viz. : George W., James, Wilbur F., Sarah A., Rebecca, Eva, Ase- 
nath E. and Charlotte. Mr. Sanderson came to this county in 1844, and 
purchased a farm in Greenfield Township, where he lived until 1869, when he 
purchased his present place, consisting of 280 acres, well improved. He is a 
Republican, and has held various official positions. He was at one time Major 
of the Second Ohio Militia. 

GEORGE D. SEARING is the son of I. W. and Ruth B. (Upson) 
Searing. The father was born in Essex County, N, J., December 10, 1802, 
and the mother in Morris County June 26, 1808. They were married Novem- 
ber 19, 1828, and had the following children, viz.: Caroline, Noah, Angeline, 
Henrietta, George D. and Susan. Mr. Searing's mother died when he was a 
child, and he lived with friends until about twelve years of age, when he 
entered a chair factory, where he remained seven years. He then worked as a 
"jour" two years, after which he engaged in business for himself, in his native 
county, remaining there until 1837, when he came to this county, and pur- 
chased 100 acres of land on Pretty Prairie, and engaged in farming. In 1870, 
he came to Lima and embarked in the furniture trade, in which he has since 
continued. Mr. Searing is a hard-working, industrious citizen. George D. 
was born in Greenfield Township, this county, March 31, 1847. He received 
a common-school education, and married Miss Sarah Byron, January 20, 1876. 
She was born in Darke County, Ohio, September 21, 1842. From this union 
there are two children — Annie and George. George D. is connected with his 
father in the furniture trade and undertaking. He is Justice of the Peace for 
Lima Township, and is a stanch Republican. 

JOHN SMITH. This gentleman was born in Clark County, Ohio, 
October 24, 1823; son of David and Elizabeth (Hurd) Smith, who came with 
their family to this township in 1833. [See biography of William Smith.] 
Our subject was reared on a farm, receiving such education as the schools of 
that early day afforded. He was united in marriage to Miss Sarah R. Parker 
March 19, 1855. This lady was born in Genesee County, N. Y., January 


12, 1827. From this union there was one child, viz. : Sarah A. Mrs. Smith 
died March 26, 1860. January 23, 1862, Mr. Smith married Miss Serena 
Craig, who was born November 19, 1827, in Columbia County, Penn. From 
their union there were two children, viz. : Mary J. and Charles C. Mr. 
Smith first voted with the Whig and then with the Republican party. He is a 
member of the Baptist Church, and a practical and successful farmer. He has 
done much to improve the stock in the county, and now has on his place as 
finely bred horses, cattle and sheep as are to be found in this locality. 

WILLIAM SMITH was born in Clark County, Ohio, January 10, 1822, 
onv of ten children, to David and Elizabeth (Hurd) Smith, natives respectively 
of Virgink and Maryland, and married in Ohio. The Smiths are of Irish 
descent. David Smith served in the war of 1812, under Gen. Harrison. The 
Hurds are of German extraction, and came to Clark County, Ohio, as did also 
the Smiths, during the war of 1812, David Smith and family emigrated to 
La Grange County in 1833, locating on the farm now owned by John and Hugh 
Smith, in Lima Township, purchasing 360 acres, on which he resided until his 
death. Mr. Smith became a faithful worker with the Abolition party, and was 
among the first County Commissioners. He advocated and practiced temper- 
ance and frugality. His death was a serious loss to the community. William 
Smith received a liberal education, and for twenty years taught school winters 
and worked at farming summers. He taught the first term in the new school- 
house in Lima ; represented La Grange County in the State Legislature, in 1855 
and 1867 ; he cast the deciding vote in rechartering the " State Bank of In- 
diana," and in his second term assisted in electing 0. P. Morton to the U. S. 
Senate. For some time he has been in the lumber trade and agricultural im- 
plement business. He is a Republican, a Mason, and belongs to the Presby- 
terian Church. He was married in 1847 to Esther Craig, born in Northum- 
berland County, Penn., in 1822, and died in 1866, leaving three children — 
Senator B., Mary E. A., and John C. In 1870, Mr. Smith married Kate 
Wood, who was born in La Grange County, Ind., in 1844. To them were born 
two children — William D. and lone C. 

OSCAR J. SPAULDING was born in Windsor County, Vt., April 20, 
182 1-, son of Thomas and Sabra (Proctor) Spaulding. The father was born in 
Massachusetts, in 1801, and his wife in New Hampshire, in 1800. They had 
five children. Mr. Spaulding followed peddling in Vermont until 1827, when 
he moved to Wayne County, N. Y., and engaged in the manufacture and sale 
of patent medicines. In 1835, he came to this county, remaining some time. 
He returned to Wayne County, and the following year came back to this county 
and purchased quite a tract of land. In 1837, he moved his family here, and 
engaged in farming and speculating. He was one of the directors of the first 
bank at Lima, and was, in an early day, Associate Judge of La Grange County. 
The children were Oscar J., Wesley J. (now a Professor in an Iowa college), 
Maritta C, Antoinette H. and Lois A. Oscar J. was married to Miss Mary 
A. Tyler, September 27, 1844, and followed farming until the breaking-out of 
the rebellion. Under the first call in 1861, he enlisted as a private in Com- 
pany K, Seventy-eighth New York Volunteer Infantry, and went into active 
service in Virginia. After about six months, he was commissioned as Second 
Lieutenant, and was successively promoted through all the grades until he held 
a Colonel's commission. He was in thirty-six engagements and was twice 
wounded, remaining until the end of the war. He has a brilliant war record 
of which he may justly feel proud. After his discharge he engaged in farm- 


ing and stock-raising. He owns 335 acres of land, well improved. Mrs. Spaul- 
ding was born in Trenton, Mich., July 24, 1826, daughter of Isaac and Eleanor 
(Kiiapp) Tyler, who were early settlers of St. Joseph County, Mich. Mr. and 
Mrs. Spaulding have had the following children : Mona E., Jonathan L., De 
Alton F. and Florence A. 

ROBERT D. THOMPSON was born November 19, 1828, in Morris 
County, N. J., one of five children born to Aaron and Mary (Dayton) Thomp- 
son, natives of New Jersey. The Thompson family settled in New Jersey be- 
fore the Revolutionary war, and during that long and bitter struggle they were 
active in serving the best interests of the Colonies. Aaron Thompson was a 
farmer, and in 1835 emigrated to La Grange County with his parents, locating 
in Greenfield Township, where he resided until 1857, when he removed to 
Lima, which, ever afterward, was his home. He was a man who commanded 
the respect and confidence of his neighbors. Robert D. Thompson was fairly 
educated, and February 18, 1858, was married to Miss Mary Cooper, born in 
Morris County, N. J., September 2, 1837 ; to them have been born five children 
— Hal S., Stephen C, Mary D., Elizabeth B. and Robert H. Mr. Thompson 
resided on the farm until the spring of 1865, when he moved to Lima and en- 
gaged in the grain and produce trade. He is a Republican and has held vari- 
ous township offices. He is prospering and stands well as a business man and 

JONATHAN B. UPSON was born in Morris County, N. J., March 13, 
1810, one of seven children. His father, Jesse Upson, was a native of Litch- 
field County, Conn., and descended from an old New England family. He 
studied medicine, became a physician ; served in the war of 1812, and for a 
number of terms served his constituents in the State Legislature of New Jer- 
sey. He held the position of Associate Judge of the Circuit Court in the 
district where he resided ; married Mary Dayton, a native of New Jersey, and 
emigrated to La Grange County in 1838, where he afterward died. He 
was twice married, his first wife, Ruth Bronson, a native of Connecticut, 
bearing him three children. Jonathan B. is a son of the second marriage; 
he was reared on a farm and received a fair education. In 1835, he came to 
Indiana, purchased land, returned home, and March 13, 1838, married Phoebe 
Dayton, who was born in New Jersey, April 5, 1818. After marriage he re- 
turned with his wife and his parents, locating in Greenfield Township ; after a 
number of years he moved to Lima. Mr. Upson began life poor, but, with his 
wife's assistance, has made a comfortable fortune. Considerable of his real 
estate he has disposed of, retaining only fifty acres, and is living a quiet and 
retired life. 

WILLIAM H. WALKER was born in Hocking County, Ohio, August 
2, 1827, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Harman) Walker, natives of Yorkshire, 
England. They were married in Ohio, and removed from there to Elkhart 
County, Ind., in 1835. After four years, they came to Eden Township, this 
county, which became their permanent home. The father worked at black- 
smithing before coming to this State. They had a family of nine children. 
William H., after his father's death, took charge of the farm until 1862, when 
he came to this township. He was married to Miss Sarah S. Coldren June 1, 
1851 ; she was born in Lima Township May 4, 1832, daughter of Nenniah and 
Sibel (Newton) Coldren. Mr. Coldren was a native of Pennsylvania, reared 
in Delaware County, Ohio, and came to this county in 1828. He was married 
at White Pigeon, Mich., in 1830, and lived in Lima Township until 1833, when 


he moved to Eden Township. He was the first Sheriff of this county and was 
County Commissioner six years. Mr. and Mrs. Walker had seven children — 
Augusta S., Gertrude L., Charles J., William C. and Edward — living; Flor- 
ence and Willie — deceased. Augusta S. is married and resides at Goshen, 
Ind. Mr. Walker owns 210 acres of good land, and is a Republican. 

MRS. SARAH B. WEST was born in Connecticut Farms, N. J., 
March 6, 1819. She is the daughter of Stephen and Henrietta (Beach) 
Thompson, both of whom were natives of New Jersey. In 1836, they came 
to this county and located at Lima, where they ever after resided. Mr. 
Thompson was a Presbyterian minister, and a man of education and refine- 
ment. He did much for the cause of Christianity, and was in high repute 
with all who knew him. He reared a family of five daughters, three of whom 
are yet living. Mrs. West remained at home until her marriage with Mr. 
Samuel West, March 10, 1839. This gentleman was born in Columbia County, 
N. Y., in 1802, and came to this county in 1836. He was a farmer and stock- 
raiser, and was much respected. He died December 26, 1850. In his family 
were six children, viz.: Anna, Emma, Stephen T., Sarah, David and Charles. 
Mrs. West is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a lady who has a 
large circle of friends. 

SAMUEL P. WILLIAMS is a native of Lebanon, Conn.; a son of 
Solomon and Martha (Baker) Williams, both of English descent. He was 
born in 1815, and received a fair education. At the age of seventeen, he went 
to White Pigeon, Mich., where for four years he was engaged in mercantile 
pursuits. He then came to Lima, where for many years he conducted one of 
the largest general stores ever in the town. Soon after his appearance there, 
he purchased 160 acres of land, a portion of which is now Williams' Addition 
to Lima. From 1848 to 1855 he owned a branch store at McDonough, 111., 
but the bulk of his mercantile and general operations was at Lima. Mr. Will- 
iams possesses both genius and talent of a high order, and has shown remark- 
able financial ability. He now owns large banking interests at some five or 
six towns in Southern Michigan and Northern Indiana. In 1843, he was mar- 
ried to Miss Jane Hume, a native of Delaware County, N. Y., born in 1822. 
Five children have blessed this union, as follows: Rebecca, now the wife of 
Rev. Vannuys, of Goshen, Ind. ; Mary, wife of S. T. Cooper ; Ella, wife of 
Ira W. Nash, of Goshen; Catharine and Jane. Mr. Williams was at the 
treaty of Fort Dearborn (Chicago), in 1833, a delegate to the River and Har- 
bor Convention at Chicago in 1847, served in the Lower House of the State 
Legislature in 1857, and has also served as delegate to two Republican 
National Conventions. He contributed largely toward the building of the 
Grand Rapids Railroad, assisted in organizing the first bank in the county, 
founded and conducted a female seminary at Lima, and has dealt largely in 
real estate. He has a happy home and a large circle of friends. 

LEVI WOLF, Sr., is of the family of Henry and Charlotte (Rude) 
Wolf, who were born, reared and married, and who died in Lancaster County, 
Penn. They were the parents of five sons and three daughters, also born there. 
Levi was reared a farmer, receiving only such education as the common schools 
of that day afforded, his birth occurring January 5, 1809. On the 25th of 
November, 1841, he was united in marriage with Miss Fanny Zuck, who was 
born in Erie County, Penn., November 19. 1824. Mr. and Mrs. Wolf lived 
in Erie County, Penn., until 1860, when they removed to Lima Township, La 
Grange County, Ind., where they have ever since resided, farming. They 


have been hard-working people, and are among the substantial and well-to-do 
farmers of Lima Township. Mr. Wolf is a Democrat. He owns 250 acres 
of land in Lima and Van Buren Townships, besides valuable town property in 
Lima. He and wife are parents of seven children, all living, namely : Sarah, 
David, Sophia, Levi, Eliza A., Henrietta and George W. 

HARVEY W. "WOOD was born in Hartford, Vt., February 15, 1808; 
one of a family of nine children, born to James and Mary (Webster) Wood, 
the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Connecticut. They were 
married at Hartford, Vt., and followed farming. Harvey W. was reared upon 
the farm and received a good common-school education. When about eighteen 
years of age he went to Western New York, and taught school until 1885, 
when he came to Lima. He first engaged in the mercantile business, but after 
a few years began keeping hotel. He was married to Miss Mary A. Warner, 
a native of Connecticut, in 1836. This lady died in 1837. His marriage 
with Miss Lucy A. Parker occurred February 4, 1838. She was born in 
Genesee County, N. Y., April 18, 1819. From this union there were seven 
children, four of whom died in infancy. The names of those living are — An- 
toinette, lone and Catharine. Mr. Wood, previous to the Kansas-Nebraska 
trouble, voted with the Democratic party ; since, he has been a Republican. He 
was Postmaster of Lima during Polk's administration, and has held other 
positions of honor and trust. 

WILLIAM WOODWARD was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, Sep- 
tember 15, 1823. His parents, John and Barbara (Bean) Woodward, were 
born, reared and married in Mifflin County, Penn. They removed to Trum- 
bull County about the year 1822, thence, in 1837, to Section 8, in Clay Town- 
ship. John W. was a soldier of the war of 1812, and a hard-working man ; he 
followed farming. He had eight children; seven reached their majority. Will- 
iam Woodward was reared on a farm, and received but a limited education. 
His father died when he was about fifteen years of age, and soon after this he 
began working at saw-milling and carpentering ; a portion of his wages was 
applied toward supporting the family. When he was twenty-one, he purchased 
eighty acres of unimproved land in Clay Township. He was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Phebe Merriman April 9, 1848. She was born in Wayne 
County, Ohio, June 16, 1832, and died August 30, 1853. After his wife's 
death, he erected and operated a saw-mill. He was married to Mrs. Sophronia 
i(Parrish) Scofield, October 25, 1855. She was born in Monroe County, N. Y., 
April 13, 1833. By his first marriage there were two children, viz. : Harriet 
L. and Mary E. By the second, six children, three of whom are yet living, 
viz. : Jerusha B., Eunice E. and Arthur J. The ones deceased were — Wallace 
W., Fayette D. and Emile F. In 1860, Mr. Woodward came to Lima Town- 
ship, where he owns 200 acres of well improved land. He also owns fifty-three 
acres in Clay Township, and 160 in Ottawa County, Kan. He is a practical 
farmer and stock-raiser, a Democrat, and a member of the Protestant Methodist 



WILLIAM BAKER is a native of Hackonby, Lincolnshire, England, 
where he was born in September, 1830. He was one of a family of eight 
children born to Thomas and Mary (Franks) Baker. Six of these children 
are yet living. The father was a laborer, and with his large family suflFered 
much from the English land laws. William Baker, in March, 1851, boarded 
the " Ticonderoga," and sailed for New York, where he arrived in twenty-eight 
days. He worked a short time in Seneca County, N. Y., to get money to 
continue his journey, and at last reached Milford Township, where his brother 
was living. He hired out at ditching and other jobs at different places, until 
1861 (March), when he married Miss Mary, daughter of Thomas (Crandall) 
Rude, and in May of the same year purchased a portion of his present farm for 
$2,000, paying |1,500 down ; but did not take possession of his new home 
until September. He now owns 150 acres of fine land. Himself and wife are 
parents of seven children — Mary, William, Edward, Daniel, Thomas, Hattie 
and Eugene. Both parents are members of the Evangelical Church. Mrs. 
Baker is a native of Tioga County, N. Y., her birth occurring in August, 1»34. 
When she was six weeks old, her parents moved to St. Joseph County, Ind., 
and soon afterward to DeKalb County, Ind., where they were among the 
earliest settlers. Mrs. Baker is a worthy woman. Mr. Baker is a Republican, 
and an excellent citizen. 

PETER BEACH, the grandfather of John Beach, was a soldier in the 
war of the Revolution. He married Miss Hammer, and located on the Genesee 
Flats, N. Y., to farm. Their eldest child was Nicholas J., the father of John, 
He was a saddler and a shoemaker. After his marriage with Miss E. J. Fluker, 
in 1839, he became a farmer. The next year he moved to Wisconsin; but, 
becoming dissatisfied, he returned East as far as Huron County, Ohio, where 
he resided until 1848, when ill-health and the family physician admonished 
him to seek a different climate, whereupon he went to La Grange County, 
buying forty acres of the land now owned by his son John, paying for the 
same with his wagon, one horse and the harness. He returned to Ohio and 
bought of a neighbor there fifty acres adjoining his land in La Grange County, 
and in 1851 came with his family to his new home. Mr. Beach was an honest, 
hard-working man, a Democrat and a Second-day Adventist. He died in 1866 
and his wife in 1877. Eight of their ten children are yet living. John Beach, 
the eldest son and third child, was born in Wyoming County, N. Y., February 
19, 1841. His education was limited. In October, 1864, he married Eliza- 
beth H. Shipley, who was born in Ashland County, Ohio, in April, 1845. 
Their four children are Ward, Delia, Jay and Otto. Mr. Beach is an enter- 
prising and successful farmer. He is an Independent, always voting for the 
man and not the party. He owns a fine farm of 109 acres. 

ABRAHAM BENDER is one of a family of eleven children; was born 
in Franklin County, Penn., September 22, 1833, and is a son of Henry and 
Mary (Etter) Bender, natives of Pennsylvania, and of German origin. When 
twenty-one years of age, he commenced life on his own responsibility, working 
out for 50 cents per day. He was married in Pennsylvania, in 1854, to Cath- 
arine E. Deahl, and in 1859 he moved to Richland County, Ohio, where he 


had eighty acres of land, and began farming. He came to Johnson Township 
in 1866 and purchased his present farm, at that time only having about thirty 
acres cleared. The principal improvements now on the place were put there by 
Mr. Bender. He is one of the progressive men of Johnson Township and is 
an earnest advocate in the support of educational and industrial enterprises. 
He is a Democrat, and has held the office of Township Trustee in Johnson 
Township two years. Mr. and Mrs. Bender are the parents of eight children, 
as follows: William H., born November 12, 1855, now a merchant of Sturgis, 
Mich. ; George G., born January, 1858, in partnership with William ; James 
A., born May 27, 1860, deceased; Eliza J., born June 24, 1861, decea8ed; 
Mary E., born August 12, 1862, deceased; Franklin McC, born July 6, 1861 ; 
Anna M., born November 4, 1867; and Charlotte M., born June' 19, 1871, 
deceased. The mother died August 12, 1881. Through all the years of her 
married life with Mr. Bender she took her share of the burden and was a help- 
meet in everything. Mr. Bender owns 116 acres of land on Section 22, where 
he yet resides. 

DANIEL W. BOWER. Phillip Bower, father of the subject of this 
sketch, is a native of Stark County, Ohio, his birth occurring April 11, 1814, 
and he is a son of John and Elizabeth (Raber) Bower. His parents were farm- 
ers, and he was reared on a farm, but early learned the carpenters' trade, which 
has occupied his attention considerably through life. November 15, 1836, he 
married Mary Yeager, and to them were born eleven children, nine yet living. 
In May, 1865, the mother died, and in March, 1876, Mr. Bower married his 
present wife, Mrs. Rebecca (Faulkner), widow of Richard Austin, who bore 
him four children ; three youngest are now living. Mr. Bower and family emi- 
grated to Johnson Township in October, 1842, and were among the early pio- 
neers of this locality. Daniel W. Bower was born April 11, 1842, in Stark 
County, Ohio, and came with his parents to La Grange County, and this has 
since been his home. He received but a common education, and September 
24, 1861, he was enrolled a member of Company H, Forty-fourth Indiana 
Volunteer Infantry. At the battle of Fort Donelson he was wounded se- 
verely, through both thighs, by a musket-ball, from the effects of which he 
was sent to the hospital at Cincinnati, where he remained until sufficiently re- 
covered, and then came home. He was discharged, July 23, 1862, and Feb- 
ruary 18, 1864, married Miss Harriet A., daughter of Andrew J. and Isabell 
S. J. (Kapel) Atwood, old settlers of La Grange County. Mr. Bower subse- 
quently enrolled as member of Company F, One Hundred and Fifty-second 
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, as Sergeant, and was finally discharged August 
30, 1865, and in October of that year moved to his present place. He and 
wife are parents of one daughter. Flora May. Mr. Bower owns 120 acres of 
excellent land, and is a Republican. Mrs. Bower was born in Livingston 
County, N. Y., September 6, 1842. 

DR.JF. H. BROUGHTON, physician, son of William and Rebecca 
(Cooper) Uroughton. Subject of this sketch was born in Noble County, Ind., 
April 20, 1849, and was raised on his father's farm. In February, 1863, he 
enlisted in Company F, Eighty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and after 
bravely participating in the engagements of Peach Tree Creek, Buzzard's 
Roost, Atlanta, and a number of other skirmishes, was discharged in August, 
of 1865. After the close of the war, Dr. Broughton came home, and for one 
year engaged in farming. He then attended the schools of Kendallville and 
Auburn, and in 1868 began the study of medicine under Drs. Teal and Gil- 


bert. of Kendallville. While pursuing his studies under these gentlemen he 
took the preliminary course of lectures at Detroit, succeeding which he took 
two full courses of lectures at that institution. The winter of 1873-74, he at 
tended the Medical Department of the State University, at Indianapolis, from 
which he graduated with honors. After his graduation Dr. Broughton prac- 
ticed his profession in Allen County a short time, after which he formed a 
partnership with Dr. Dancer, at South Milford. In February, 1878, he re- 
moved to Wolcottville, where he has since resided. Dr. Broughton is one of 
the best read physicians in the county, and one of the most successful practi- 
tioners. He has a good practice and the esteem of his neighbors. He was 
married December 24, 1876, to Abigail Call, daughter of Joseph Call, of Mil- 
ford Township. When he entered the army, at fourteen years old, he only had 
5 cents. 

ZOPHER CASE was born November 2, 1816, in Ashtabula County, 
Ohio, and is a son of Zopher and Annie (Randle) Case. He is a grandson of 
Capt. Charles Case, a native of Connecticut, and a member of the company 
that formed Washington's Body Guard in the Revolutionary war. Capt. Case 
left his native State in 1798, and came to Warren, Ohio. Zopher Case, Sr., 
was born in Connecticut, and during the war of 1812, enlisted and served 
with distinction as Major in Col. Haye's regiment. He died in Ohio, and the 
spring of 1833 the widow and family emigrated to Sturgis, Mich. The spring 
of 1836. the subject of this sketch and four others came to the neighborhood 
where Mr. Case now lives, and entered land. Mr. Case erected a cabin just 
across the line in Milford Township, and then returned to Michigan for his 
mother and the rest of the family. The same year they located on their land. 
Mr. Case's is among the best farms in Johnson Township. Mrs. Case, his 
mother, died in April, 1870. Subject is of a limited education. He married 
Nancy Highbargin, in 1838, and to them were born five sons and five daugh- 
ters — Leander, Leroy, Clinton, Orin, George, Lenora, Alice, Mary, Clara, 
and one that died in infancy. The mother died in 1866, and in 1868 Mr. 
Case married Annie Smith, who has borne him four children — Riley, Guy, 
Zopher and Gaylord. Mr. Case is representative of the self-made men. He 
began with nothing, at the age of twelve, working for ^3.00 per month. By 
labor and economy, he has acquired one of the largest and finest stock farms in 
the county, and at present owns 800 acres, having given the remainder to his 
children. He is an enterprising citizen, a Democrat, and a member of the 
Masonic fraternity of Wolcottville. 

J. A. CUTLER was born in Worcester County, Mass., August 14, 1831. 
J. H. Cutler was his father. His mother's maiden name was Reed. His 
father was a carpenter and joiner and one of the early settlers of Steuben 
County, Ind., where he is yet living a retired life. When the subject of this 
biography was seven years old, his mother died, and up to the age of seventeen 
he lived with his father. He received a common-school education. The fall 
of 1831, his father and family emigrated to Steuben County, Ind., where they 
were among the first settlers. Mr. Cutler worked at chair-making a number 
of years, but carpentering was his chief employment. J, A. Cutler learned 
the carpenter's trade in Ohio in 1848 ; after which he went West and engaged 
in boat building. In 1851, he returned to Indiana. He was at a boat explo- 
sion near Peoria. He located in Orange Township, Noble County, and worked 
at his trade a number of years. He lived in Rome City seven years and, in 
connection with his trade there, worked at the mill business. He has since 


li/ed in the neighborhood of Wolcottville. He, at one time, was engaged in 
wagon and carriage making. The spring of 1880, he was engaged by the 
Monumental Bronze Company as their agent in La Grange and Noble Coun- 
ties. Mr. Cutler was married, in 1852, to Mary J. Lee, and to them have been 
born six children, three only of whom are living, and they are the only living 
male descendants of the old family of Cutlers. Mr. Cutler is a Republican, 
a member of the I. 0. 0. F. and for the past fifteen years has been a worker 
of the M. B. Church, of which he and wife are members. 

B. J. DICKINSON, the subject of this sketch, was born in Livingston 
County, N. Y., March 13, 1819. His father, Ichabod Dickinson, was a native 
of New York and his mother, Mercy Tripp, was a native of Rhode Island. 
They were the parents of five sons and five daughters, only one son, our sub- 
ject, and one daughter, Eliza, of whom are yet living. The father was a farmer 
and he and wife were honest and respected. B. J. Dickinson was reared a 
farmer and received but a limited education. Having a brother who came to 
Johnson Township, La Grange County, Ind., in 1836, he determined to go 
there and make a home. After his arrival he engaged in farming, which he 
has smce followed. In about 1842, he married his brother's widow, Mrs. 
Louisa (Perkins) Dickinson and to them were born five children — William F., 
Henry, George, Emma and Artemas F. Of these, all are living and all are 
married excepting Artemas. Mrs. Dickinson had one daughter by her first 
marriage, Georgie Anna, who is yet living. Mr. Dickinson is a farmer by 
occupation, owns eighty acres of well improved land, is a Republican and an 
enterprising citizen, favoring the advancement of all laudable public enter- 
prises. Mrs. Dickinson was born in Livingston County, N. Y., September 10, 
1818. She married her first husband, George Dickinson, September 11, 1836. 

F. W. DRAGGOO was born March 22, 1809, in Mercer County, Penn. 
His father, Frederick Draggoo, was a native of Virginia and of French descent. 
His mother, Martha (Angel) Draggoo, was of Irish-English descent and a native 
of Pennsylvania. The father was a soldier of the war of 1812 and a farmer. 
He and wife were the parents of thirteen children, of whom our subject is the 
oldest living. F. W. Draggoo received but a limited education, was reared a 
farmer and when seven years of age came with his parents to Richland County, 
Ohio, who were among the early settlers of that country. His parents died 
here. December 2, 1830, F. W. Daggoo and Ann Mitchell were married. At 
one time, he had considerable property, but was of a generous disposition and 
was induced to go security in money matters, which resulted in his failure. In 
1846, he emigrated to his present place in Johnson Township, then all woods, 
and again commenced to make a home in a new country. He and wife endured 
many hardships. Mr. Draggoo came to the county a poor man and now he is 
comparatively wealthy. He now owns 123 acres of well improved land. He 
and wife are the parents of eight children — William M., John A., Randle M., 
George W., Ellen, Frederick, Rosena B. and Sarah A. Six died of consump- 
tion, John and Randle surviving. The former married Maria Weatherwax and 
the latter Melissa Free. Both are living in Johnson Township and both have 
families. The Draggoos are among Johnson's best citizens. 

JOSEPH A. DRAKE was born in Wood County, Ohio, September 4, 
1845, and reared on a farm. His father, Joseph Drake, was a native of Penn- 
sylvania, as was also his mother, Mary (Sweny) Drake. They moved to Wood 
County at a very early period, and Mr. Drake was one of those who assisted 
in the construction of the old Ohio Canal. He was a class-leader in the 


Methodist Church over twenty-nine years. His wife died in 1847, and he in 
1862. May 2, 1864, our subject enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and 
Forty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged in August the same 
year. He went to Indianapolis in November, 1864, in the employ of the 
Government, and remained there about two years ; from there he went to Fos- 
toria, Ohio, and commenced retailing medicine for Dr. Chance. Having re- 
ceived considerable experience in this business, he commenced studying, and 
by diligent study he was enabled to invent several first-class remedies ; some of 
his leading remedies are, '' The World's Benefactor," the " Blood and Liver 
Tonic," " Drake's Ague Drops," etc. The real value of these medicines is 
undoubted. Mr. Drake was married August 22, 1867, to Miss Severnia E. 
Turner, who was born in Ohio April 15, 1848. This lady moved to Seneca 
County, Ohio, with her parents, when four years old, and from there to Han- 
cock County. At the time of her marriage with Mr. Drake, she was one of 
the leading milliners of Fostoria. By their union have been born two daugh- 
ters — Mary A. and Emma E. Mr. Drake is a Republican and a member of 
the Knights of Honor of La Grange. Both are members of the Methodist 
Church of Valentine, near which village they reside on their farm. 

M. W. DUNTEN", Superintendent of the County Poor Farm, was born 
March 6, 1842, in Allen County, Ind., son of F. H. and Sophia (Crook) Dun- 
ten, who were from Jeiferson County, N. Y. The Duntens are of English 
descent and trace their genealogy back to two brothers who came to America 
at an early period ; one was a sea captain, the other settled in Boston and en- 
gaged in mercantile pursuits. As a class, they are farmers, but a few have 
deviated from this course. The father of our subject came to Allen County, 
Ind., in 1831, and ten years afterward returned to New York and married our 
subject's mother ; he then came back to Allen County, where he farmed and 
kept hotel in Fort Wayne a number of years. In 1845, he came to Ontario, 
this county, where he was for some time in the hotel business ; before the war 
he sold his hotel and farmed near La Grange until 1868, when he moved to 
Johnson Township. Morris W. Dunten was reared a farmer and received a 
good common-school education. In 1862, he enlisted in Company G, Eighty- 
eighth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served until he was taken 
sick and was honorably discharged, June 21. 1863, then came home and began 
teaching school. On the 15th of July, 1871, he was married to Miss Sarah 
A. Ayars, and to them has been born one daughter — Linnie G. Mrs. Dunten 
was born in Sanilac County, Mich., in 1851. Mr. Dunten was appointed 
Superintendent of the County Poor Farm in March, 1874, and has since 
continued in that capacity, giving excellent satisfaction. Mr. Dunten is an 
Independent, voting in all cases for the man and not the party. He is a mem- 
ber of the I. 0. 0. F. of La Grange, and an intelligent, enterprising citizen. 

JOSEPH ESHELMAN, deceased, was born June 10, 1809, near Har- 
risburg, Penn.; he was a son of Henry and Jane (Brady) Eshelman, who were 
natives of Germany and Scotland; they came to the United States when 
young and were here married. The husband was born in 1789, was a soldier in 
the war of 1812, and a farmer ; he died in 1854. The wife was born in 
1785 and died in 1829. Joseph Eshelman, deceased, was a farmer, and had 
but an ordinary education. In Pennsylvania, in March, 1832, he married 
Mary Erford, who was born March 6, 1815. After their marriage, they lived 
in Stark County, Ohio, and Summit County, Ohio, for a time, and are now at 
Johnson Township, La Grange County. Mr. Eshelman came to the county in 


1849, and purchased eighty acres of land where his son Levi now lives. He 
died December 11, 1879 ; was a member of the Evangelical Church. His 
widow still survives him and resides in Johnson Township. They were the 
parents of thirteen children, only eight of whom are now living. Levi Eshel- 
man was the eldest, born in Stark County, Ohio, August 22, 1838 ; he received 
but a limited education, and came with his parents to Indiana, in 1850. He 
assisted in clearing his father's place, and was married in 1861 to Nancy A. 
Newnam, daughter of Asbury Newnam. For seven years after his marriage 
Levi farmed in Orange Township, Noble County. In March, 1870, became to 
his present place. He is a Republican, owns 200 acres of good land, and he 
and wife are the parents of six children, and members of the Evangelical 
Church. Their children's names are John J., George F., Leroy L., Mary 
E., Henry E. and Harvey G. 

WILLIAM GEISER was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, October 25, 
1825, and is the youngest of eleven children born to William and Ann Mariah 
(Rush) Geiser. Mr. and Mrs. Geiser also determined to cross the Atlantic. 
Accordingly, in 1838, they emigrated to Richland County, Ohio, where Mr. 
Geiser began working at his trade — shoemaking. In 1844, Mrs. Geiser died, 
and on the 30th of October, 1850, our subject was united in marriage with 
Sophia Smith. He resided in Ohio a number of years succeeding his marriage, 
working at shoemaking. Mr. Geiser and family, together with his father, emi- 
grated to Johnson Township, October, 1854, where he has since resided. He 
purchased eighty acres of land on Section 22, and moving his family into a 
cabin, began working at his trade, and clearing and improving his land. He 
and wife are the parents of eleven children — Louisa, Mary S., Henry F., Lelie, 
Charles W., Etta, John M., Iva, Ellen, and Frank and George deceased. The 
two oldest daughters are married. Mr. Geiser started out in life a poor boy, 
but by hard work and economy has been reasonably successful in the acquire- 
ment of this world's goods. He has never been identified with any political 
party. He has held the position of Trustee of Johnson Township twelve years. 
Mr. Geiser is an active worker in the advancement of education, and an enter- 
prising man. His father died in 1864. 

NATHAN K. GREEN is a native of Addison County, Vt., was born in 
February, 1820 ; his parents being Truman and Polly (Kinsley) Green. He 
is one of a family of twelve children, but four of whom are now living. The 
Greens are of Celtic, and the Kinsleys of Scottish descent. The father served 
two years as a substitute in the war of 1812. He emigrated to Jefferson County, 
N. Y., in 1821, and to Sandusky County, Ohio, in 1834. In about 1842, he 
moved to Ottawa County, Ohio, and in 1856 to St. Joseph County, Mich., 
near Burr Oak. Some eight or nine years later he came to La Grange County. 
At the end of three years, he returned to Ottawa County, Ohio, where his wife 
died. In 1877, he came back to Johnson Township, but went to Ohio soon 
after, and the following year came to Johnson Township, and resided until 
his death, in September, 1879. When Nathan K. Green was fifteen years 
old, he hired to a farmer in Huron County, Ohio, and afterward to one in Erie 
County, same State. In March, 1841, he married Miss Mary Thomas. This 
lady bore her husband six children — William, John, George, Mary, Champ and 
Sarah — William and Mary being dead. Mrs. Green died in February, 1870. 
The family moved to La Grange County, in 1843, settling first in Lima Town- 
ship, but in June, 1847, removing to Johnson Township. Here he has since 
resided, having built a comfortable home. He got his start working by the 


day. He now owns ninety acres of good land. His second and present wife is 
Maria, daughter of Daniel Martin, and widow of John Stoner, who at his death, 
left two children — Arthur and Andrew E. They were married in June, 1871, 
and by this union have one son — Nathan Clair. Mrs. Green was born in New 
Jersey February, 1836, and is a Free-Will Baptist. Mr. Green is a Repub- 
lican, and has held various official positions in the township. 

WILLIAM HEALEY is a native of the Albion Isle, his birth occurring 
in Bulby, Lincolnshire, in March, 1828. His parents were Joseph and Eliza- 
beth (Holton) Healey, to whom was born a family of eleven children, five of 
whom are yet living. Joseph Healey was a poor but industrious man, and 
owing to the peculiar laws of England could not give his children even a com- 
mon-school education. William grew to manhood, and in July, 1849, married 
Jane, daughter of William and Elizabeth Hubbard. One daughter was born to 
them in England. They boarded the sailing ship " Continent," and at the end 
of six weeks were landed in New York. They reached Lima, La Grange Co., 
in July, 1851, almost destitute of everything to make life comfortable. They 
entered a small cabin north of the village, using two saw-horses with boards for 
a bed, a meat bench for a table, and boxes, trunks, stools, etc., for chairs. 
They labored hard, saved and suffered, living in Lima Township some eight 
years — a portion of the time on a farm. By 1860, they had saved enough 
to buy a forty-acre farm, and have since added eighty more. They have 
nine children — Ann, William, Elizabeth, Jane, Joseph, Edward (deceased), 
George, John and Clayton, four of whom are married, one living in La Grange 
County, two in Noble County, and one in Minnesota. Mr. Healey is a member 
of the Lutheran Church, is a Republican, and a good citizen. 

D. LIVERGOOD is a son of Jacob Livergood, who was born in Phila- 
delphia, Penn., October 31, 1791. Jacob Livergood was a house-joiner and 
carpenter, but made farming his principal occupation. He married Rachel 
Buffington, 1818, in Chester County, Penn., and they moved to Tucarawas 
County, Ohio, in 1821, then to De Kalb County, Ind., in 1847, and lived there 
until their death. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
The father died March 25, 1855. The mother was born in Chester County, 
Penn, July 23, 1796, and died November 7, 1856. They were the parents of 
seven children, four of whom are living. Jacob L. served in the war of 1812. 
Davis Livergood was born in Perry Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, June 
12, 1828. At the age of seventeen, he went to Guernsey County, Ohio, where 
he learned the tanner's trade. In 1849, he came to Auburn, De Kalb County, 
Ind., and in spring of 1850 established himself at his trade. In 1851, he 
came to La Grange, and engaged at tanning, in connection with a harness and 
shoe shop, until 1857, when he sold all his interest and removed to Johnson 
Township. He first purchased sixty-five acres of land, on which Jacob Mills 
now resides. He sold that in 1865, and in 1866 moved to his present place, 
which now comprises 160 acres of well-improved land. Mr. Livergood was 
married February 19, 1852, to Editha Stevens, daughter of Thomas and Sarah 
Wilson, and widow of John Stevens. By this marriage were born four chil- 
dren — Mary N., deceased ; Lycurgus, a hardware merchant of La Grange ; 
Alice E. and Maggie E. Mrs. Livergood, by her first husband, had two chil- 
dren — Thomas and Minerva. The former served his country in suppressing 
the rebellion, and died at Cairo, 111., from disease contracted while in the 
service. The daughter is the wife of T. H. Sefton, a partner of Lycurgus 
Livergood, at La Grange. The mother was born in 1824, in Wayne County, 


Ohio. Mr. Livergood is a Republican, and a member of the I. 0. 0. F. of 
La Grange, also a member of La Grange Encampment. 

JOHN McKIBBEN, deceased, was born in Richland County, Ohio, 
April 6, 1827. His parents, James and Sarah (Smith) McKibben, were of 
Irish descent, and farmers. John McKibben was reared in Richland County, 
Ohio, receiving a good common-school education. November 12, 1850, he 
married Miss Nancy D., daughter of George and Mary Ann (Hayes) Shipley^ 
and in April of the following year he and wife, with his father and family, 
emigrated to Johnson Township, La Grange County, Ind., where they had 
purchased land the year previous, of which twenty acres were partially cleared, 
and had a rude log cabin on it. Mr. McKibben moved his family into the 
cabin, and then commenced reclaiming his property from a forest state. He 
was a hard working man, and died February 10, 1878. He was a member of 
the Presbyterian Church, and a respected resident. He left a farm of 340 
acres of Johnson Township's best land, on which his widow yet lives, aged 
fifty-one. The children born to Mr, and Mrs. McKibben are James S.; 
George R.; William B.; Frank A., deceased; Thomas, deceased; Sarah M.,. 
deceased ; Harvey, deceased ; Adell, deceased ; Mary B. and Anna. George 
R. married Lottie E. Vesey, and resides on a part of the old place. William 
B. married Miss C. B. Putney, and lives in Johnson Township. .James Mc- 
Kibben was born in Johnson Township March 29, 1852. He was married 
May 2, 1876, to Lissa A. Van Kirk, who was born in Bloomfield Township 
April 3, 1856. They have two children — Orley Ray and Ledger Dey. 

JACOB MILLS was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., March 19, 1822. 
He was one of nine children born to Jacob and Catharine (Cornwell) Mills, the 
father being of English and Scotch and the mother of Welsh and Germanic 
descent. Jacob Mills, Sr., was three times married; his second wife beino- 
Margaret Passage, and his last wife, who is yet living, being Samantha Sprague. 
He was a soldier in the war of 1812, was a farmer, and died in the year 1849. 
Jacob Mills, subject of this sketch, lived on a farm until fifteen years old, when 
he began learning the carpenter's trade. Having relatives who had come to 
La Grange County in 1844, he emigrated to the same place in 1846, and lo- 
cated on the site of his present home. His family, at that time, consisted of 
his wife, Jane B. Somers, to whom he was married February 2, 1843, and one- 
child. He purchased 80 acres of land, then entirely devoid of clearing, and 
built a log cabin, and then began to build up the home and property he now 
owns. Mr. Mills has been a very hard-working man, and with his wife's help 
has risen to a position of comfort in old age. They own 200 acres of good 
land, and are the parents of five children — Charles H., James W., Mary J., 
one that died in infancy, and Ida A. Charles and Ida are married, and reside 
in La Grange County. Mary is dead, James W. is single, and is a traveling 
salesman, with headquarters in Chicago. Mr. Mills was a Democrat up to 
James Buchanan's administration, but since then has been a Republican. He 
has held the office of Justice of the Peace four years in Johnson Township. 

C. R. MOON, a prominent merchant of Wolcottville, was born June 28, 
1836, one of eight children of Salma and Caroline (Morton) Moon, who were 
natives of the State of New York. The father was a carriage-maker, and 
moved with his family to Wayne County, Mich., where he is yet living on the 
land he entered. His wife died in 1863. Charles R, Moon lived on a farm, 
until sixteen years old, in Wayne County. In 1852, he began working for 
himself at the carpenter's trade in Kalamazoo and Coldwater. In 1857, he 


came to La Grange, where he worked at his trade a number of months. He 
then went to Ypsilanti, Mich., where he took a thorough course in music under 
Profs. Foote, Pixlj and Pease, during which time he taught school to pay 
his expenses. At the end of three years, he graduated and returned to La 
Orange and engaged in selling organs, teaching music and holding musical 
conventions. Owing to throat troubles, he has not made it a permanent busi- ^ 
ness, but to some extent has followed it. In 1861, he entered into a partner- ' 
ship at La Grange in the manufacture of carriages, but discontinued that the 
spring of 1862, when he came to Wolcottville, where he had charge of a branch 
carriage-shop until he disposed of it. For three years he then traveled in 
the interests of C. R. Moon & Co., but his family still lived at Wolcottville. 
In 1877, he returned to Wolcottville, and established a trade in the furniture 
business. He was married in 1861, to Margaret J. McClaskey, and they are 
parents of three children — R. Ellsworth, C. Alton and Mabel K. Mr. Moon 
is a Republican, and has held the township office of Justice of Peace. He 
has had charge three years, and ably edits the Wolcottville department in the 
La Grange Standard. Mr. Moon has been Sunday school Superintendent of 
M. E. Church, at La Grange and Wolcottville, for twenty years, and he and 
wife are adherents of that church. Mr. Moon is the author of some celebrated 
music, among which are "Leave me and Save the Glorious Flag," "Some- 
body's Darling is Slumbering Here," etc. ; the latter piece being known all over 
the United States as a fine production. Beside the above, Mr. Moon liberally 
contributed to the Musical Review, of Detroit, and other musical periodicals. 

JEREMIAH OUTCALT, farmer. The Outcalts are of Germanic de- 
scent, and came to America three generations prior to the birth of the subject 
of this biography. Jeremiah Outcalt was reared as a farmer, receiving but a 
meager education, and residing with his parents until the age of thirty years. 
He first visited La Grange County in 1839, where, at that date, his brother 
moved, and, admiring the country, he, in 1846, came with his family to On- 
tario, where he remained, working at coopering during the succeeding winter. 
His land in Johnson Township had been purchased previously, and upon this 
Jie moved in the spring of 1847. Here he and his family have since lived. 
From hard labor and good management, the undrained and unhealthful land 
lias been converted into good farming land. One hundred and ninety-seven 
acres of well-cultivated land, with substantial and comfortable buildings, are 
among the rewards of this patient labor. Mr. Outcalt was born in Portage 
County, Ohio, October, 1812, his parents being Schobey and Clara (Sabins) 
Outcalt, to whom were born ten children. The father had served as a teamster 
in the war of 1812, and was throughout life a respected citizen. Both parents 
died in Illinois, whither they had moved in 1848. Jeremiah Outcalt's mar- 
riage with Elizabeth Ingraham was solemnized in 1840. To them have been 
born four children — Charles (deceased) and Adelaide, twins ; Maryette and 
Hortense, the latter also deceased. Mrs. Outcalt's maiden name was Irwin. 
She married Lewis Ingraham, by whom she had two children — Elizabeth and 
Sarah J. — both dead. Maryette Outcalt and Nathan Wiggins were married 
in April, 1869. Mr. Wiggins was accidentally killed in March, 1875. Mr. 
Outcalt is an enterprising and respected citizen, and has been a good Repub- 
lican since the organization of the party. 

WALTER H. RODGERS Wolcottville, is a member of the firm of 
Moon & Rodgers, who do a general business of wagon and carriage manufact- 
uring and repairing. The junior member of this firm, Walter H. Rodgers, 


was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., December 27, 1848, and is one of a family of 
four children. Three only of these are living, one giving his life in defense 
of his counti-y in the late war. His parents were Edgar and Lydia A. (Remick) 
Rodgers. Mr. Rodgers was a jeweler at Brooklyn, N. Y. He died in 1861, 
but his widow and two children are yet residents of Brooklyn. Walter H. 
Rodgers lived in that city until fourteen years of age, when he came to Indiana, 
and worked on a farm near Lima until 1865, when he enlisted in the One 
Hundred and Fifty-second Regiment, Company F, Indiana Volunteer In- 
fantry, and served until the close of the war. After a visit East, he returned 
to Lima, and learned the blacksmith trade, and then went to La Grange, where 
for about six years he was employed by Moon & Co. He then took charge of 
that firm's shops at Wolcottville, but shortly afterward engaged in business in 
Cleveland, Ohio, Waterloo, and then back to Wolcottville, where he has since 
resided. In September, 1877, he formed a partnership with S. D. Moon, of 
La Grange, in the manufacture and repair of wagons and carriages at Wolcott- 
ville, Mr. Rodgers having charge of the entire business. They commenced on 
a small basis, but by honesty and industry have increased their efi'orts, until 
they now do a comfortable business of from |8,000 to $10,000 per annum. 
Mr. Rodgers was married in the spring of 1868 to Amelia Moon, of La 
Grange, and they have two children — Guy and Earl. Mr. Rodgers is a mem- 
ber of the I. 0. 0. F., and is a Republican. Mrs. Rodgers is a member of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

A. J. ROYER is a son of Jacob and Mary (Mitchell) Royer, and was 
born in Beaver Township, Union Co., Penn., February 5, 1824. With his 
parents, he moved to Stark County, Ohio, in 1825, and was there reared on 
a farm to manhood. His father was a farmer. Mrs. Royer died in about 
1865, and Mr. Royer in 1878. At the age of nineteen, A. J. Royer com- 
menced learning the carpenter's trade. December 3, 1849, he was married to 
Miss Martha Stall, and to them were born three children — only one son, 
Norman H., yet living. This son married Josie Cosper, and resides in 
Johnston Township. After his marriage. Mr. Royer continued at his trade in 
Seneca County, Ohio, where he and his wife had moved, but after two years, 
returned to their former home. The summer of 1852, Mr. Royer came West. 
Not having sufficient means to purchase the location he desired, he returned to 
Ohio ; but again returned to this township in 1853, and purchased 60 acres 
of his present farm. The fall of 1854, he moved his family out to the then 
new county, and immediately began clearing his farm and working at his trade. 
His wife, unable to withstand the hardships, died February 22, 1856. Mr. 
Royer's second and present wife is Catharine (Wert) Royer, to whom he was 
married January 29, 1857. Mrs. Royer was born in Vernon Township, Craw- 
ford Co., Ohio, May 5, 1884, and is a daughter of William and Jane (Patten) 
Wert. To Mr. and Mrs. Ro^er were born ten children — Albert J., deceased, 
Mary M., Charles S., William A., one that died in infancy without a name, 
Ida M., Eliza J., Laura B., Ira B., deceased, and Luella. Mr. Royer came to 
La Grange County a poor man, but by economy and industry has acquired 165 
acres of good land. He is a Republican, and he and wife are leading members 
of the Evangelical Church. 

A. A. SNYDER, merchant, the present Postmaster of Wolcottville, 
was born in Adams County, Penn., January 6, 1825. He is one of ten chil- 
dren, who through their parents, John and Mary (Kuhnes) Snyder, were 
descended from an old and honored German family that came to America 


many generations back. John Snyder was a carpenter by trade, but through 
life was employed much at cabinet- making, etc. In 1835, he and family 
moved into Wayne County, Ohio, where Mr. Snyder worked at farming in 
connection with his trade. Mrs. Snyder died in Ashland County, Ohio, in 
1845, and the fall of 1847, the father with the rest of the family, removed to 
Wolcottville, Ind,, where he had friends. Early in life, Mr. Snyder was in 
good circumstances, financially, but through the unfaithfulness of seeming 
friends, he was reduced to straitened circumstances. On his arrival, he 
began working at his trade. In 1851, he removed to La Grange, where he 
died in 1868. He was an honest, unassuming man, respected by all who knew 
him. A. A. Snyder received but the common education. When twenty years 
old, commenced learning the shoemaker's trade in Ohio. After coming to 
Indiana, he worked at this business in Northport over a year, after which he 
entered partnership at Wolcottville in the manufacture of boots and shoes. 
The partnership continued two years, and then Mr. Snyder continued it alone, 
making in all about twenty years at that business in Wolcottville. He was 
commissioned Postmaster in 1861, by a Republican administration, and with 
exception of three months, during Johnson's administration, has retained that 
position. In 1868, he opened a grocery store, which has since been continued 
with the addition of drugs. Mr. Snyder is doing a good business. He mar- 
ried Phebe A. Littlefield March 8, 1849, and they are the parents of four 
children — John A., deceased; Mary S., wife of J. C. Scheffler ; Susan E., 
deceased, and Albert E Mrs. Snyder was born in Canada, May 17, 1828. 
Mr. Snyder is a leading Republican, and a respected citizen. 

THOMAS G. STARKEY, retired, was born in Mifflin (since Juniata) 
County, Penn., January 22, 1819, the youngest of nine children, born to Ben- 
jamin and Sarah (Frantz) Starkey. His father was a blacksmith by trade, at 
which he worked after his removal to Wayne County, Ohio, in 1836. Thomas 
G. Starkey received an ordinary education. On the 5th of December, 1840, 
he married Miss Sarah, daughter of William and Susan (Raum) Holsinger and 
sister of John Holsinger. Mr. Starkey farmed in Ohio until January, 1843, 
when he came West and looked up a place for a home. He returned to his 
family in Ohio, where he farmed until he removed here in 1847. He settled 
on a part of the farm now owned by the heirs of Joseph Eahelman, in Johnson 
Township, where he remained, clearing and farming, until 1859, when he 
traded for property in Milford Township. He farmed here until his removal 
to Wolcottville, in March, 1880, where he has since been living retired. He 
is a Democrat, and in Johnson and Milford Townships has held the position of 
Justice of the Peace twenty-five years. During this time, he has solemnized 
over one hundred marriages. He and wife are parents of fourteen children — 
William, Jennie, Sue, Benjamin, Dell, Daniel, Addie, Ida F., Ada, Lettie, 
Bessie, Alice, Rhoda and Johnny. All are living, except the eldest, who en- 
listed in his country's cause in Company H, Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteer 
Infantry, but was afterward transferred to the Fourth Indiana Cavalry. He 
was wounded while on a scouting expedition, from the effects of which he after- 
ward died. Mrs. Starkey was born in Stark County, Ohio, September 25, 
1822. Mr. Starkey is one of the substantial men of Wolcottville and owns 
two farms in Milford Township, one of 105 acres and the other of 108 acres. 

JOSEPH TAYLOR was born in Morton, Lincolnshire, England, March 2, 
1822, a son of Stephen and Maria (Franks) Taylor, who emigrated to America, 
with a family of nine children, in May, 1848. They shipped on board the "For- 


est King" and, after a voyage of over six weeks, arrived in New York. Hav- 
ing, as they supposed, relatives living in Lima, La Grange Co., they concluded, 
with the aid of friends, to make that their home. While on their way, on 
Lake Erie, they ascertained that their friends were either dead or gone to 
Oregon ; but, not having the means to go farther, they settled near Lima in 
July, 1848. The father of our subject, being a blacksmith, followed that oc- 
cupation and brewing beer until his death* which occurred in July, 1863. His 
wife died the next September. Joseph Taylor, at the age of sixteen, was a 
good blacksmith, and that has been his occupation, to a greater or less extent, 
through life. He was married, in November, 1850, to Prudence Field, born 
in Thurlby, Lincolnshire, Eng., March 26, 1824. This lady is a daughter of 
Thomas and Mary (Barber) Field and came to America the same year of her 
marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have never had any children born to them, 
but have raised one boy — Thomas J. Field — from the time he was two and a 
half years old. Mr. Taylor came to Wright's Corners from Lima, in May, 
1849, and commenced blacksmithing in a rented shop. He and wife have been 
industrious and, by hard labor, have made what they now own. They have 
over 138 acres of good land and other valuable property. Both were brought 
up in the Episcopal faith, but since coming to America have never joined any 
religious society. Mr. Taylor is a Republican and he and wife are most re- 
spected citizens. 

PHILO TAYLOR was born in Connecticut in 1796. His wife, Ora- 
bell (Harmon) Kent, a widow lady with one daughter, was born in Vermont 
in 1795. They were married November 22, 1818, in Lawrence County, Ohio. 
The father of Philo Taylor was a native of England, and came to the United 
States about the time of the Revolutionary war. Philo Taylor was a carpenter 
by trade, and when a young man went to Lawrence County, Ohio, where for 
six years he was engaged as a millwright. He then moved to Portage County, 
and resided there ten years. He next emigrated to Indiana, locating as Wol- 
cottville, on the La Grange County side, where he purchased 320 acres of land, 
which he improved. He was one of the early settlers, and one of the most 
influential in building up the town. He received many positions of honor, 
among them that of County Commissioner, to which he was elected several 
times, and at one time was a candidate for Associate Judge. He was a Whig, 
and afterward a Republican. He was also a member of the Baptist Church. 
He died February 16, 1876, and his wife June 13, 1856. They were the 
parents of six children — Sylvester, V. R., 0. B., Louisa M., William S. and 
Henry L. Sylvester and William are dead; Louisa M., is the wife of L. 
L. Wildman, whose biography appears in this work. The family of Taylors 
are of a sterling type, and have made their mark wherever duty has called 
them. Hon. V. R. Taylor resides in Wolcottville, on the Noble County side, 
while his two brothers reside in Wolcottville, just across the line in La Grange 

Hon. V. R, Taylor was born November 28, 1821, in Lawrence County, 
Ohio. He was reared a farmer, and came with his parents to Wolcottville in 
1837. He received a good education, which was finished at the La Grange 
Collegiate Institute at Ontario. For a period of six years he taught in the 
public schools of La Grange and Noble Counties, and November 28, 1850, he 
married Miss Ann Rowe, who bore the following children : Philo J., William 
L. and George H. The mother's death occurred May 10, 1873, and January 
28, 1875, he married Elizabeth A. Betts, his present wife. Mr. Taylor is an 


active worker in the interests of the Republican party, by which he was elected 
to the State Legislature in the fall of 1880. Although young in legislative 
affairs, he has shown a degree of judgment in his work at Indianapolis that 
ranks him among the leading men of the House. He is a farmer, owns 100 
acres of land, and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal 

Hon. 0. B. Taylor was born in Portage County, Ohio, June 10, 1827. 
When his parents emigrated to Indiana he was ten years old, and after coming 
to the State he received the greater part of his education, finishing at the same 
place as did his elder brother. At the age of seventeen, he commenced his 
career as a district school pedagogue, but continued it only for three years, 
when he entered George Wolcott's store in Wolcottville. He continued with 
Mr. Wolcott until the spring of 1852, when he commenced business at South 
Milford, under the firm name of 0. B. Taylor & Co. On the 27th of January, 
1859, he married Catharine J. Henry, daughter of Hon. Francis Henry (de- 
ceased), of La Grange County, and the next October moved to Wolcottville, 
where he engaged, under the firm name of Wildman & Taylor, in a like trade 
to that at South Milford. In 1867, the partnership changed to 0. B. & H. L. 
Taylor, which continued some years. The senior partner then sold out to 0. 
L. Woodruff, but after a time purchased H. L. Taylor's interest, the firm name 
continuing as 0. L. Woodruff & Co. Mr. Taylor was elected to the Lower 
House of the State Legislature by the Republican party in 1878, and was re- 
elected with an increased majority. He was a hard-working member, and was 
instrumental in the adoption of the Ditch or Drainage Law. He was chair- 
man of important committees, and served with distinction and satisfaction to 
his constituents. Mr, and Mrs. Taylor ai-e members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, and parents of three children — Frank P., Marshall N. (deceased) 
and Albert H. They also have an adopted daughter — Lana B. Besides 
valuable town property, Mr. Taylor owns 270 acres of good land near 

Henry L. Taylor was born in Portage County, Ohio, December 1, 
1835. He received a common-school education, and at the age of twenty-one 
began life's battle on his own responsibility. Up to 1869, he engaged in farm- 
ing; and then, in partnership with 0. L. Woodruff, entered into mercantile pur- 
suits at Wolcottville, continuing for six years. He then sold his interest to 
0. B. Taylor, and since, has been engaged in buying and shipping grain. He 
also has a farm of 400 acres. He was married April 19, 1860, to Jane 
Nicholson, who died September 7, 1861. His present wife is Eliza J. Steven- 
son, daughter of Martin L. and Laura A. (Tozer) Stevenson, born April 3, 
1843. They are parents of three children — Charles H., Archie S. and Ruth. 
Mr. Taylor is a Republican, and at one time was the nominee of that party for 
office of County Commissioner. He is a member of the Baptist Church. 

JAMES TUCK, of the firm of Dickenson & Tuck, was born in Sandusky 
County, Ohio, December 20, 1842, and is one of three children whose names 
are James, John and Elizabeth ; the last named is single and is a landscape 
and portrait painter, of Chicago. John served his country in the late war and 
died fron gunshot wounds at the hospital in Mobile, Ala. James Tuck was 
but two years old when his parents removed to La Grange County Ind. Sep- 
tember 24, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteer 
Infantry, and received his final discharge at Nashville, Tenn., on the 14th of 
September, 1865. For over two years he was in active service at the front, 


and was a participant in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, etc. 
He was commissioned Commissary Sergeant, May 1, 1861, a position he held 
until the close of the war. Succeeding his discharge he came home and com- 
menced clerking in a dry goods store at La Grange, at which he continued until 
1867, when he came to Wolcottville, and, in partnership with L. B. Dickenson,^ 
engaged in the drug trade, meeting with good success ; they have since added 
groceries and are doing a lively business. Mr. Tuck has been twice married; 
first to Mary J. Law, who died shortly after their marriage, and in 1868 to his 
present wife, Miss Nancy T, Nichols, daughter of Nelson and Keziah Nichols. 
His last wife has borne him two daughters — Mary and Grace. Mr. Tuck is a 
Freemason, a Republican, and he and wife are members of the Baptist 
Church. He is a son of Shuble and Mary (McGrew) Tuck, who were natives 
of New York. Shuble Tuck was a farmer, and from his native State moved to 
Sandusky County, Ohio, where he afterward married. He emigrated with his 
family to La Grange County, Ind., in 1844, and purchased a farm and engaged 
in agricultural pursuits. Mrs. Tuck died in 1857 and Mr. Tuck in 1859, 
They were early settlers of the count v and endured many hardships of pioneer 

C. W. VAUGHAN, deceased, was born in Vermont May 16, 1821, son 
of William and Elizabeth (Weller) Vaughan. He was given a good practical 
education. At the age of eighteen, he went to Troy, N. Y., where he engaged 
in the molding business, thence to Akron, Ohio, where he was bookkeeper in 
a woolen factory. In about 1844, he came to Northport, Noble Co., and en- 
gaged in mercantile pursuits. He married Melinda M. Wright on the 22d of 
October, 1847, a daughter of Levi Wright. From Northport, Mr. Vaughan 
came to Wright's Corners, in 1846, and entered partnership with L. L. Wild- 
man, in a general store ; from this point he moved to Ontario, and from there 
to Fulton, 111. In 1867, he removed to Chicago, where he engaged in live 
stock trade a number of years. He died November 14, 1875. Mr. and Mrs. 
Vaughan were parents of three children — Ida, Gertrude and Lillie ; only one 
is now living. Ida married Robert Dykes and bore him one daughter, Grace 
M.; the mother is now dead. Gertrude married Herbert Vaughan, and they 
were the parents of one child that died in infancy ; the mother is also dead. 
The family home has been in Chicago for a number of years, but the widow 
and daughter own 526 acres of land in La Grange County, Ind., where they at 
present reside. They are accomplished people and are in the best circles of 

MICHAEL WESTLER, lumber dealer. The Westler family came from 
Maryland to Ohio at an early day, where the subject of this sketch was born, in 
Green Township, Summit County, July 30, 1827. John and Elizabeth (Blatner) 
Westler were his parents, and their occupation was farming. Michael Westler 
lived with his parents on the farm until fourteen years old, when his father 
died. From that time until 1847, he worked at farming, went to school, and 
in the fall of that year commenced the study of dentistry. In October, 1848, 
he went West and bought a farm of 104 acres, on Section 29, Johnson Town- 
ship, La Grange County, paying for it $2.50 per acre. He boarded at a neigh- 
bor's and began improving his place. He was often called upon to work at 
dentistry. When he first bought the land there was no clearing on it. After 
building him a log cabin, he, on the 5th of April, 1853, married "Sarah Ann 
Stroman, and to them were born — Francis M., Ida M., Charles J., deceased, 
Elmer E. and Etta R. R. Mr. Westler has been married three times. By 


his second wife there was born one son — William M., who died when about 
seven months old. He married his present wife (Naomi Wilcox) November 3, 
1875. She bore him one daughter — Ottley E. In February, 1865, Mr. West- 
ler enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Fifty-second Regiment Indiana 
Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged August 31, 1865. In about 1869, he 
sold a part of his farm, moved to Wolcottville, and engaged in milling. For a 
time he had an interest in a saw-mill, but at present is engaged in the 
lumber trade and the agricultural implement business. He is a Republican, 
and has held various township oflSces. He is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. of 
Wolcottville, and of the La Grange Encampment. He has represented the 
lodfye at the Grand Lodge, and has held all the offices of both lodges, except 
that of Secretary. Mr. Westler is an honest gentleman in every respect. 
During the war he was a decided loyalist, and during the trouble with black- 
legs from 1856 to 1858, he was one of the first to become identified with the 

L. L. WILDMAN, son of Levi and Sally (Stowe) Wildman, was born 
January 25, 1821, in Litchfield County, Conn., and is of Scotch descent. 
Levi Wildman was a cooper by trade, but farmed to a considerable extent. 
The subject lived in his native State until thirteen years of age, when he came 
with his parents to Ohio. The father left the family here in 1837, and went 
to Indiana, with a view of finding a suitable location. He purchased 80 acres 
of land a mile north of Wolcottville, and that winter worked for George Wol- 
cott. In the spring of 1838, he went to Ohio, and the next fall returned, 
bringing his family. Building a small log cabin on his place, he moved his 
family into it and began to improve his property. Mr. Wildman lived here a 
number of years, undergoing the trials of pioneer life, and, at an advanced age, 
died on the 20th of July, 1865. His widow died January 25, 1870. L. L. 
Wildman's education was finished at the La Grange Collegiate Institute, at 
Ontario. He taught school a number of terms, and, in 1846, entered into 
partnership with C. W. Vaughan, in mercantile business at Wright's Corners. 
Since that time Mr. Wildman has been identified in a number of business enter- 
prises at Kendallville, Rome City, South Milford, Wright's Corners and Wolcott- 
ville. He at present is engaged in the banking business at the latter place. He 
had been a director of the First National Bank of La Grange, but resigned. He 
is still a stockholder of that bank, and owns about 350 acres of land in La 
Grange and Noble Counties, and 160 acres in Kansas. He is a Republican, 
formerly a Whig. He was elected to the State Legislature from La Grange 
County in about 1858, carrying almost every vote in Johnson Township. He 
was married, December 31, 1851, to Louisa M. Taylor, daughter of Philo 
Taylor, and they have had four children — Angeline G., born April 26, 1853; 
Eva, born December 29, 1854, died November 18, 1863 ; William W., born De- 
cember 31, 1856, died June 30, 1880, and Herbert, born April 5, 1860. The 
first-named is the wife of F. Eugene Dickinson, and the last, Herbert, mar- 
ried Parks, and is a successful merchant of Wolcottville. Mrs. Wildman 

was born June 13, 1829, and both Mr. and Mrs. Wildman are members of the 
Baptist Church. 

CHARLES WILSON was born in Livingston County, N. Y., April 
10, 1827. His parents were John and Mary A. (Roberts) Wilson, who had 
a family of twelve children. The father was a farmer and of Scottish 
descent, and he and wife died in the State of New York. They were mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Charles Wilson resided on a farm 


until fourteen years of age, and received a common-school education. In 1841, 
he commenced learning the blacksmith trade, which was his main employment 
for a number of years. He came, with his employer, to Indiana in 1843, lo- 
cating at Wright's Corners, where Mr. Wilson worked at his trade about a year; 
he then returned to his native State and engaged in the same business about 
two years, after which he returned to Wright's Corners and again engaged in 
blacksmithing, continuing up to 1848, when he commenced farming. In 
October, 1854, he purchased his present farm of fifty-one acres, which has 
since been his residence, excepting a time during the war. He enlisted Octo- 
ber 17, 1861, in Company H, Forty-fourth Regiment Indiana Volunteer In- 
fantry, and was discharged in October, 1864. He was an active participant 
in the battles of Forts Donelson and Henry, and of Corinth ; after the last-named 
engagement Mr. Wilson was on detailed duty, and for eighteen months led the 
supply train. He was married to Margaret Coberly, in 1850, and they have 
an adopted daughter — Adel. Mr. Wilson is one of Johnson Township's best 
citizens, and a Democrat. Mrs. Wilson was born October 10, 1827, in Ran- 
dolph County, Va.; she came with her parents to Crawford County, Ohio, 
where her mother died ; her father returned to Virginia, where he died. After 
her mother's death she was bound out to a family, and with them came to In- 
diana when fourteen years old ; she lived with this family, working very hard. 
Commencing at fifteen, she worked out by the week untilher marriage with Mr. 
Wilson. They commenced poor, but by hard labor have acquired a good 

GEORGE WOLCOTT, deceased, was born in Torrington, Conn., July 
26, 1806, and was one of a family of twelve children. When sixteen years 
old he removed with his parents, Guy and Abigail (Allyn) Wolcott, to Sum- 
mit County, Ohio. His father dying in August of that year, he had charge of 
the home farm until 1828, when he went to Wadsworth and engaged in farm- 
ing until 1832. August 6, 1828, he married Miss Margaret Hine, of Tall- 
madge, Ohio, and for a time was engaged in saw-milling and the manufacture 
of fanning-mills at Wadsworth. In 1836, he sold his possessions here, and in 
March, 1837, he located on the southern line of Johnson Township, where he 
built a log house, and the following September moved his family, and then 
commenced reclaiming the then unbroken forest. One of the first industries 
started by Mr. Wolcott was a mill fed by a race half a mile long, which he 
dug himself. By his excellent management, it was not long before a little 
settlement sprang up around him, which took the name of Wolcottville, in his 
honor, now a thriving village of 500 inhabitants. He built mills, shops, stores, 
houses, etc. He erected the Wolcottville Seminary, hired teachers, and through 
his endeavors made Wolcottville what it now is. He was peculiar in disposi- 
tion, but was a friend to the poor and needy, and at an early day did much to 
relieve those sufi"ering from fever and ague, then so prevalent. In politics he 
was a Whig, but afterward a Republican. He died March 31, 1857, but his 
widow is yet living, at the advanced age of seventy-eight, in Wolcottville. 
They were the parents of six children — Ann L., Abby A., Rowena R., Almira 
J. (deceased), Elton R., Marshall F. and Amelia M. (deceased). Mrs. Wolcott 
is living a retired life on her property near the village ; she owns seventy-four 
acres of good land and is one of the highly esteemed old settlers of Johnson 

0. L. WOODRUFF, merchant, Wolcottville, of the firm of 0. L. Wood- 
ruflf & Co., is a son of Charles and Jane (Landon) Woodruff, natives respectively 


of Ohio and Pennsylvania. Charles Woodruff in early life learned the tailor's 
trade, but when he arrived at maturity abandoned that business, and studied 
the Eclectic system of medicine, and that has been his chief employment since. 
After a successful practice in Ohio a number of years, he came to Huntington 
County, Ind., in 1845 ; but after a residence there of six months, returned to 
Ohio, and again, in 1852, emigrated to Indiana, locating in Albion, Noble Co. 
He purchased the Samuel Woodruff farm north of town, but soon afterward 
traded it for the Worden House. During the excitement regarding the Grand 
Rapids & Indiana Railroad at Albion, he subscribed almost his total possessions 
to the enterprise, and it ruined him financially. In 1869, he went to Ligonier, 
and engaged in the drug trade, and the practice of his profession. The spring 
of 1880, he purchased a farm near Ligonier, of our subject, and has since been 
engaged in farming. 0. L. Woodruff, was born in Sunbury, Delaware Co., 
Ohio, in 1839, and is one of six children. He lived with his parents up to the 
time of his father's failure, and since the age of fourteen has been doing for 
himself. At eighteen he had saved sufficient money to attend school one year 
at a Fort Wayne college. After this he attended the Wolcottville Seminary 
over a year, paying the expenses by teaching. Owing to ill-health, he left 
school, and in the spring of 1861 went to Albion, and there enlisted in the 
Nineteenth Indiana Infantry, but was rejected on account of poor health. He 
then clerked in a drug store at Albion, and from there went to Kendallville to 
clerk. By economy, he had saved a sufficient amount to enter into a partner- 
ship at Wolcottville in 1869 in a general store, and has continued that trade at this 
place. His present partner is Hon. 0. B. Taylor. The firm name is 0. L. 
Woodruff & Co., and they do an average annual business of $20,000. Mr. 
Woodruff was married in 1867 to Lydia Garrison, and they have one adopted 
daughter. Mr. Woodruff is a Republican, and he and wife are members of the 
M. E. Church. 

J. W. YOUNGKINS, M. D., born in Lancaster Co., Penn., 1834; is the 
youngest of eight children, of whom Abraham and Sarah J. (Montgomery) Young- 
kins were the parents. Dr. Youngkins, at the age of fourteen, came with his par- 
ents to Richland Co., Ohio, where the parents died. He received only a common 
education in Ohio, and in 1855 began the study of medicine, graduating from 
the Medical College at Columbus in 1856. From that time until the breaking- 
out of the war, he practiced in Hancock County, Ohio, and in May, 1861, 
enlisted in the Twenty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and received his com- 
mission as Surgeon. After serving out his time — three months — he re-enlisted 
with his regiment, and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac. For two 
years he was on detailed duty at Winchester, from where he received his dis- 
charge in December 1864. After the war he resumed the practice of his pro- 
fession in Mansfield, Ohio. From there he removed to Butler, De Kalb Co., 
Ind., and from there to Wolcottville, in 1876, where he has since resided. Dr. 
Youngkins has a large and lucrative practice, and is a man of extended informa- 
tion, having traveled across the plains of America in 1851, Mexico and Central 
America in 1852, and Texas in 1872. He has been twice married. First, to 
Mary Ann Hall, who bore him one daughter — May ; and his present wife i& 
Eliza Bingham. Dr. Youngkins is a Democrat, and a member of the I. 0. 0. F. 
of Wolcottville. 



WILLIAM BELL AIRS was born m England July 31, 1820. In 1845, 
he came to America and located in White Pigeon, Mich., where he remained 
until after he was married, December 19, 1852. He then came to this county 
and settled on a farm he had previously purchased. After living here for a 
period of five years, he returned to St. Joseph County, Mich. In 1863, he 
again returned to this county, having exchanged his farm in Michigan for the 
one that he now occupies, in this township. He owns 300 acres of good land, 
well improved. Mrs. Bellairs, formerly Ruth Julin, was born in Ohio, October 
8, 1831. They are members of the Methodist Church and have a family of 
eight children — Olive, Ann, George, Henry, Caroline, Josephine, Levi and 
Mary. Mr. Bellairs is an enterprising citizen and is a member of the Masonic 
fraternity, having attained the third degree in that order. 

ELMER BELOTE is the son of John and Fanny Belote; was born in 
Monroe County, N. Y., August 10, 1814. His father was a native of Connec- 
ticut, born May 2, 1789, and his mother's birth occurred in Rhode Island 
January 1, 1796. They were married in New York State, February 14, 1813, 
and, in 1835, emigrated to La Grange County and located in this township 
on Section 29, where the remainder of their lives was passed. He died 
August 22, 1850, and her death occurred October 26, 1871. They were par- 
ents of eleven children, viz. : Elmer, James S., Joseph M., John B., William 
M., Jefferson A., Naomi E., David E., Andrew L, Amos and an infant. El- 
mer Belote came to this county with his parents and lives on the farm where 
they first located. He and brother John own the old homestead of 200 acres 
and they are both single. Their brother William, who is married, lives with 
them. The subject is a good citizen and has the confidence of all. He has 
served creditably as Township Trustee for a number of years. 

CHRISTIAN BERGER is the son of George and"' Eve Berger, who were 
born, married and died in Germany, The former's birth occurred in 1799 and 
the latter's in 1809, their marriage in 1829 and their deaths in 1871 and 1848 
respectively. They were parents of ten children, viz. : Jacob, George, Eve, 
Magdalena, Katie, John, Harriet, Jane, David and Christian. The latter, our 
subject, was born May 14, 1831, and remained in Germany until October, 
1852, when he came to America, going to Erie County, Penn., where he was 
married, November 10, 1852, to Miss Mary PfieflFer, also a native of Germany, 
born September 3, 1829. In 1860, they removed from Pennsylvania and have 
since resided in La Grange County. In 1869, Mr. Berger bought his property 
in this township, Section 21, that he has since farmed and improved. He owns 
203 acres of land and has a family of seven children — Levi B., born January 
21, 1856; Abner A., October 31, 1859; Charlie F., September 16, 1861; 
Joseph L., February 18, 1865; Emma M., March 31, 1867; John H., May 
14, 1869; and Edward C, May 14, 1871. Mr. Berger is an enterprising 
resident. Himself and wife are members of the Evangelical Church. 

AMI BERRY, son of Conrad and Lois Berry, is a native of this county 
and was born April 16, 1841, on the farm where he is now living. After his 
marriage, which was consummated March 4, 1868, he settled on the old home- 


Stead farm in this township. Mrs. Berry is a native of Germany, where her 
birth occurred July 19, 1844. Her maiden name was Mary Bardon and she 
was one of ten children in the family of Michael and Catharine Bardon, who 
were also born in Germany, the former January 6, 1810, and the latter April 
27, 1812. The subject's parents were natives of Ohio. His father was born 
June 15, 1813, and his mother September 28, 1814. Mr. and Mrs. Berry are 
members of the Baptist Church and are very worthy people. They own 140 
acres of good land. Mary A., their only child, was born December 10, 1868, 
and died December 5, 1871. 

DANIEL BOYER is the son of Daniel and Mary Boyer, of York County, 
Penn., where they were born, married and died. They had a family of ten 
children. Daniel, the eldest, was born in York County, Penn., September 17, 
1821, and remained there until 1856, when he located on Section 21, of this 
township. He was first married in his native county, in 1843, to Miss Sarah 
Sleeger, of the same nativity as himself, born in 1822. She died November 9, 
1848. They had two children— Emanuel, born May 27, 1844, and Mary E., 
December 81, 1845. The latter died June 28, 1881. Mr. Boyer's second 
marriage occurred April 29, 1849, to Mrs. Catharine Sleeger, the daughter of 
Michael and Mary Boeckel, natives of Germany. She was born in York 
County, Penn., February 10, 1820. They have two children — Jemima and 
Franklin S., the former born January 18, 1851, and the latter May 24, 1854. 
The subject and his wife are members of the Evangelical Church and citizens 
that are well respected. Mr. Boyer owns 183 acres of land. His father was 
born in 1800 and his mother in 1802. They were married in 1819. The 
former died in 1864 and the latter in 1881. 

STEPHEN BROWN is living on the old homestead farm, situated in 
this township, and composed of 176 acres of land. He is the third child 
in a family of seven, born to Isaac and Catherine Brown, and is a native of the 
Hoosier State, born in 1840, on the 16th of June. His parents were natives 
of Pennsylvania, where they were married, subsequently removing to this 
State, where Isaac Brown died in 1848, and his widow married John Wenzer in 
December, 1860. He died April 8, 1878, and she died March 7, 1880. Ste- 
phen Brown was married in Elkhart County, Ind., March 17, 1861, to Mary 
Wenzer, a native of that county, born April 8, 1844, and the youngest of 
seven in the family of John and Mary Wenzer. August 18, 1864, Mr. Brown 
enlisted in Company B, Twelfth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, serving through- 
out the entire war. Previous to purchasing the old homestead farm, Mr. 
Brown was located in Section 8, in this township, where he moved about one 
year after his marriage. Four children have blessed their union — Samuel L, 
a native of Elkhart County, Ind., born February 10, 1862; John F., born in 
this county January 7, 1864; Jonas A., born May 26, 1868, and Alvie M.. 
whose birth occurred August 11, 1870. 

AMI CALAHAN is the son of Nathaniel and Anna Calahan. The 
former was born in Delaware July 20, 1788, and, when twelve years old. 
accompanied his parents to Washington County, Ohio, where he was afterward 
married. The latter was born in the State of New York, November 19, 1795. 
and moved to Ohio, when a child, with her parents. She married Nathaniel 
Calahan in 1810, and they emigrated to White Pigeon, Mich., in 1830, 
remained but a short time, then came to this county, settling on Section 17, 
this township, where he entered land in June, 1831. June 7, 1837, Mrs. 
Anna Calahan died and he was married in 1847, to Mrs. Esther Olney, and 


removed to Section 19, where he died July 20, 1855, and she died in 
February, 1858. Mr. Calahan, Sr., had a family of fourteen children. Ami, 
was born in Washington County, Ohio, June 21, 1818, and came to this county 
with his parents. He was married June 18, 1843, to Lucinda Selby, a native 
of Ohio, born March 25, 1817, and the daughter of Charles W. and Elizabeth 
Selby. Soon after this event, Mr. Calahan settled on his present farm, hav- 
ing purchased it in 1840. He now owns 477 acres of land. Mrs. Calahan 
died June 4, 1880, having borne her husband five children — Alfred M., Almon 
L., Ami N. (deceased), Charles R. and Edmon. 

JOHN DALTON, son of Major and Anna Dalton, was born near Al- 
bany, N. Y., July 6, 1810. At the age of fifteen, he went to Geneva, Onta- 
rio Co., N. Y., remained about seven years, and was married there, June 11, 

1831, to Catharine Cooper. She was born in Waterloo, same county, Novem- 
ber 4, 1809. They subsequently resided in Rochester, N. Y., where Mr. Dal- 
ton followed painting about four years. In 1836, he bought land and engaged 
in farming in St. Joseph County, Mich. Here Mrs. Catharine Dalton died, 
July 21, 1838, after which Mr. Dalton visited in New York about six months, 
then returned to Michigan. December 11, 1839, he was married to Laura E. 
Fitch, who was born in Ohio, September 1, 1817. In April, 1841, they came 
to this county, and located in this township, where she died, August 18, 1842, 
Mr. Dalton married his present wife — Anna Hayner — December 20, 1843. 
She is a native of New York, born August 22, 1812. In 1867, he removed 
from Section 12, to Section 13, where he is yet living. Mr. Dalton started in 
life a poor boy, and his efforts have met with abundant success. He owns 
1,227 acres of land, and is an esteemed and prominent citizen. He has held 
honorable positions in office a number of years, having served as Treasurer 
and Trustee, and he and wife are members of the M. E. Church, the subject 
having united with that denomination in 1834. Mr. Dalton, by his first wife, 
had three children, as follows: Charlotte E., born in New York, August 15, 

1832, now Mrs. Bycroft; Mary J., also a native of New York, born May 2, 
1836, now Mrs. Frost, and Cornelius A., born in Michigan, February 4, 1838. 
His present wife has borne him three daughters — Frances A., born January 
27, 1847, now Mrs. Otland, is residing on the homestead farm ; Katie A., 
born July 1, 1849, died June 11, 1873, and Lucelia, born March 23, 1853, 
now Mrs. Huif. Mr. Dalton has also reared an adopted child, Henry A., born 
October 1, 1845, and died May 14, 1868. 

NATHANIEL DAVIDSON is a native of Lancaster County, Penn., 
where he was born June 17, 1831. His parents were natives of the same 
county : his father, Michael Davidson, was born March 1, 1794, and his mother, 
Rebecca Davidson, May 12, 1794. In 1840, they removed to Erie County, 
Penn., where Michael Davidson died in February, 1869, and she is yet living. 
Their family was composed of four children — Sarah, Catharine, Nathaniel and 
Michael. The subject went to Erie County, Penn., with his parents, and re- 
mained nine years ; he then went to Erie City to learn the shoemaker's trade. 
After serving an apprenticeship of three years he returned home, then again 
resumed his trade in Erie City, and was employed by various parties. In 
1854, he came to Goshen, Ind., made a limited sojourn, and went back to 
Pennsylvania. In 1855, he went to Iowa, and after spending two years there 
returned again to his native State, and was married, October 8, 1857, to Mrs. 
Martha Gerst, who was born in Erie County, Penn., April 24, 1832. In 
1861, they came to La Grange County, and located in this township. They 


lived four years with his parents, then Mr. Davidson went to the village of 
Van Buren, where he was engaged in working at his trade about three years. 
The following nine years he was employed in working on the home farm, remov- 
ing then to his present farm, of 198 acres, in Section 27. Mr. and Mrs. David- 
son belong to the Methodist Church, and have had five children — Charlotte V., 
David P., William E., Sarah C, and Earl, deceased. 

VOLNEY C. DIBBLE is the son of Andrew and Percy Dibble ; the 
former was born in Connecticut, in 1777, and the latter in New York, in 1782. 
They were married in 1798, in the last-named State, where they spent the rest 
of their lives, and where their children, eleven in number, were born. An- 
drew Dibble died in 1875, and his wife in 1863. Volney C. Dibble's birth oc- 
curred January 8, 1807, in New York State, and he was married, December 
31, 1829, to Fidelia Parker, who was born November 3, 1811, in New York, 
where they lived until 1843, then came to this county, and settled in Lima, 
where Mr. Dibble started a wagon-shop, and continued that business until 
1859, when he sold out, went to Elkhart County, Ind., and one year subse- 
quently returned to this county and bought a farm in Newbury Township. Af- 
terward resided four years in De Kalb County, Ind., then settled on his pres- 
ent farm of 44 acres, in Section 23, this township. Mr. Dibble is one of the 
enterprising citizens, and has a family of three children — Hannah, Lauretta 
and Adelbert. 

EMANUEL EAGLEY is a native of Pennsylvania, born on the 26th 
of May, 1853. He was accompanied to the West by his parents, John and 
Leah Eagley, and soon after he was married, settled on his present farm of 
120 acres, that is located on Section 18 of this township. His wife, Mrs. Mary 
Eagley, was born at Sturgis, Mich., December 14, 1857. She is a member of 
the Evangelical Church, and her parents were Frederick and Christena Kiel- 
kopf. She was united in marriage to Emanuel Eagley on the 17th of January, 
1876. To their union two children have been born — Frederick E. and Alta 
M.; the former's birth transpired May 5, 1877, and that of the latter Novem- 
ber 29, 1879. Mr. Eagley spent his youth with his parents, receiving the 
average school advantages. His farm presents an improved appearance and he 
is one of the reliable men of this township. 

JOHN EAGLY, Jr., was born in Erie County, Penn., March 31, 
1849, and came West with his parents, John and Leah Eagley, with whom he 
remained until reaching the age of twenty-one. Decenaber 12, 1869, he was 
united in marriage to Saloma Brown ; she is a native of this State, her birth 
occurring on the 5th of September, 1848. He owns a farm of 101 acres, where 
he has lived ever since he was married, although he did not make a purchase 
of it until 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Eagly are members of the Evangelical 
Church. Three children have been born to them — Alinde E., December 13, 
1872 ; Katie J., December 13, 1875, and Alverada B., whose birth occurred 
September 14, 1879, Mr. Eagly is a good farmer and is reckoned among the 
best citizens of his township. 

L. E. FERGUSON, the youngest of four children, was born September 
22, 1845, on the farm where he is residing, it formerly being the home of his 
parents. He attended the Ann Arbor University, in Michigan, four years, 
from which he graduated in 1870, then returned to the homestead farm which 
he managed two years, spending the following year in California ; after return- 
ing, he spent one year in lake surveying and one year in traveling. In 1876, 
he bought the old homestead and resumed farming. He owns 290 acres of 


good land with buildings to correspond. Mrs. Mary J. (Odle) Ferguson is a 
native of Michigan, where she was born the 30th of June, 1858. She was 
married to Mr, Ferguson September 18, 1878 ; they have two children — John 
A., born August 13, 1879. and Maud E., February 9, 1881. Mr. Ferguson 
is the son of George W. and Elizabeth Ferguson, who were married in Penn- 
sylvania April 26, 1825 ; she was born in that State August 6, 1806, and he 
was born in New Hampshire January 27, 1799. They came to this county in 
1836, and located where the subject is now living, then went to White Pigeon, 
Mich., returning to their farm after an absence of five years. In 1871, they 
again returned to White Pigeon, Mich., where they lived in retirement until 
their death ; she died May 15, 1874, and he died April 15, 1876. 

JAMES E. FISH is a native of this county, and the son of Samuel and 
Elizabeth Fish, who were born in the State of New York. The subject was 
born November 19, 1845, since which time he has been a resident of La Grange 
County. December 16, 1868, the event of his marriage occurred to Miss 
Olive S. Morehouse. About two years afterward they moved onto their farm 
of eighty acres in Section 28, of this township, where they dwell amid comfort- 
able surroundings. In their family are two girls and one boy ; Hattie, the 
eldest, was born in 1869, on the 29th of October ; Norah's birth occurred Jan- 
uary 16, 1874, and Charles 0. was born October 8, 1876. Nathan and Har- 
riet Morehouse were the parents of Mrs. Fish ; they had a family of eight 
children ; Olive S., the oldest, was born in New York, May 6, 1843. Mr. 
Fish, although comparatively a young man, is an experienced and practical 
farmer, and his property is well improved. 

ALBERT GREGORY was born in New York June 6, 1841, and is the 
son of Goodsell and Marcia Gregory, who were natives of New Y'ork and the 
parents of five children. The former was born in 1806 and the latter in 1805. 
They were married, in 1836, in their native State, where they continued to 
reside until 1845, at which time they came to this county, locating at Ontario, 
and four years afterward removed to the farm in this township where Albert 
Gregory now lives and where Mrs. Marcia Gregory died March 11, 1861. 
Goodsell Gregory was married a second time December 15, 1861, to Mrs. R. 
A. Lewis. Subsequently they removed to White Pigeon, Mich., where he died 
November 31, 1868 ; after which she married again. At the age of twenty- 
two, Albert Gregory began work for himself, and in November, 1864, enlisted 
in Company A, One Hundred and Forty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, 
and served until the close of the war. He was married to Elizabeth Driver, 
December 25, 1866. She was born in Perry County, Ohio, April 6, 1842. 
They have had five children — Marion B., Will B., Leroy D. (deceased), George 
E. and Jay D. Mr. Gregory bought the homestead farm soon after his mar- 
riage. It is composed of 100 acres of well-improved land. 

AQUILA HINKLE, a native of Brie County, Penn., was born January 
9, 1834. His parents, Andrew and Catharine Hinkle, were born in Pennsyl- 
vania, the former in August, 1794, and the latter in October of the same year. 
They were married in the same State in 1819, and came, in 1864, to Indiana. 
They located in this township on Section 18, but subsequently took up their 
residence with their son Aquila, and after living with him a few years, Andrew 
Hinkle purchased property in Lima, expecting to spend the rest of his life 
there, but his wife died March, 1874, and he returned again to the home of the 
subject, where he is yet living. In his family were nine children — William, 
Amos,* Catharine, Henry, Elizabeth, John, Aquila and Priscilla (twins) and 


Jacob. Aquila Hinkle came to this county with his parents. He was married 
in Crawford County, Penn., March 10, 1859, to Mary Boyer, a native of that 
State, born April 13, 1840, and the eldest of six children in the family of 
Abraham and Elizabeth Boyer. They also were natives of Pennsylvania, her 
father's birth occurring in April, 1812, and her mother's in October, 1815. 
The former died in June, 1854, and the latter still resides in Pennsylvania. 
Mr. and Mrs. Hinkle remained in Erie County, Penn., a few years after their 
union, and then emigrated to this county. They lived with the subject's par- 
ents until 1872, when Mr. Hinkle purchased and removed to his farm of 120 
acres in Section 29 of this township. They have an only child, Emma L., 
who was born in Erie County, Penn., February 23, 1860. 

CHRISTIAN HOOFNAGLE is a native of Union County, Penn., where 
his birth occurred December 1, 1839. He subsequently accompanied his par- 
ents, John H. and Mary A. Hoofnagle, to Ohio, removing thence to La 
Grange County in 1865. The subject owns a farm of eighty acres in this 
township and provides a home for his parents and a sister. During the late 
war, he served on the field of battle until the close, enlisting, in August, 1862, 
in Company K, One Hundredth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Mr. Hoofnagle is 
unmarried. He is a thrifty and enterprising farmer, with flattering prospects 
for the future. 

M. HOOFNAGLE was born in Snyder County, Penn., April 27, 1839, 
and in 1852 left his native State, in company with his parents, who located 
in Ohio, where the subject remained until the age of eighteen, then went to Il- 
linois, where he resided four years. Returning to Ohio, he enlisted, November 
11, 1861, in Company B, Seventy-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, served 
three years, and was discharged ; then re-enlisted in same company, and re- 
mained until the war closed, September 11, 1865 ; he then came to this county 
and farmed two years, when he sold out to his brother. December 24, 1867, 
he was married to Miss Sarah B. Steininger, and located in St. Joseph County, 
Mich., where they resided until 1876, then returned to this county, where he 
has been engaged in managing his father-in-law's farm, in this township. Mrs. 
Hoofnagle is of the same nativity as her husband, and was born May 15, 1847. 
She is the daughter of Simon and Catharine Steininger, and the youngest of 
three children, The subject is one of ten children in the family of John H. 
and Mary Hoofnagle, of Pennsylvania. They belong to the Reformed Church, 
and have three sons — John S., a native of St. Joseph County, Mich., born 
February 26, 1872 ; Eugene B., born May 28, 1875, in same place, and Wil- 
lard A., a native of this county, born July 16, 1880. 

ISAAC G. MISNER is the son of Joseph and Sarah C. Misner, and 
next to the eldest of nine children. The first twenty-seven years of his life 
were spent in Canada, where he was born June 19, 1828. He then went to 
Elkhart County, Ind., and was married, at White Pigeon, Mich., December 
17, 1855, to Miss Eliza Fleming. She was born on the farm where they now 
live, December 22, 1835, and is the only child of Tyler and Samantha Flem- 
ing. Her father was born in New Jersey April 23, 1811, and died Septem- 
ber 7, 1839. Her mother was a native of New York State, born August 17, 
1806, and died February 13, 1872. Soon after marrying, Mr. Misner settled 
on his farm of 150 acres, in this township. Mr. and Mrs. Misner have no fam- 
ily. They are fine people, and, besides their property here, own 120 acres of 
land in Kansas. Mr. Misner's parents were Canadians by birth, and were 
married in 1826, May 10. In April, 1856, they journeyed to this county, 


where Joseph Misner died, December 30, 1859. He was born November 5, 
1805. Mrs. Sarah Misner was seventy-six years old on the 15th of February, 
1882, and is spending her last days with her children. 

JOHN McDonald is the son of Robert and Nancy McDonald, both 
of whom were born in Albany County, N. Y., the former June 12, 1799, and 
the latter January 27, 1805. They were married about 1821, in their native 
State, where they are yet residents. Robert McDonald represented the county 
of Schoharie, N. Y., in the State Legislature, and in his family were eleven 
children. John, the subject, was born May 14, 1831, in New York, where he 
was married, January 23, 1856, to Barbara Pitcher. She died, October 14, 
1857, leaving one child. In 1858, Mr. McDonald went to St. Joseph County, 
Mich., and was there married to his present wife, September 18, 1861. She 
was Mary C. Purdy, a native of New York, where she was born November 22, 
1836. They came to La Grange County in 1864, where he bought a farm, 
and settled, soon after removing to his present location. He owns 240 acres 
of excellent land, and has a family of four children — E. B., born in New York, 
October 14, 1857 ; N. Medie and N. Mettie (twins), born July 8, 1870, and 
Emily Dell, May 10, 1873. 

PETER MOAK is the son of Jacob and Margaret Moak, natives of New 
York, the former born in 1778, and the latter in 1786. They were married in 
1816, and remained in New York until they went to White Pigeon, Mich., 
from whence they came to this township, where their last days were passed. 
She died in 1842, and he in 1855. They were members of the Reformed 
Church, and parents of five children. Peter Moak was born in New York on 
the 3d of May, 1823, and came here with his parents in 1835, remaining with 
them until the age of twenty-five. February 10, 1847, he was united in mar- 
riage with Miss L. Satchel, native of New York, born July 20, 1827. He then 
bought the old homestead, where they lived two years, then exchanged for an- 
other farm ; lived there seven years, then removed to his present location. May 
20, 1877, the death of Mrs. Moak occurred, and January 15, 1879, Mr. Moak 
and Mrs. Eliza A. Crockett were united in matrimony. She is the daughter 
of John and Polly McDonald, and was born in New York in 1832, October 
23. In the family of Mr. Moak there were four children — two living, Clara 
and Wallace, and two deceased, Ettie and Henry ; the former died December 
16, 1872, and the latter September 2, 1878. Mr. Moak is a man of enter- 
prise, and owns a farm of 128 acres, that is well improved, with good build- 

JAMES MOONEY is a native of Lancaster County, Penn. ; born 
December 25, 1824, and is the son of James and Margaret Mooney ; in 1827, 
he went with his parents to Erie County, Penn., where he was married No- 
vember 4, 1847, to Juliann Fry, who was born on board vessel October 16, 
1828, while her parents were en route to this county from Germany ; after 
coming to this county they settled on the farm where they are yet residing ; it 
is situated in Section 33, is well improved and comprises 240 acres of land ; 
Mr. Mooney ranks among the best farmers and prominent citizens of his town- 
ship. They have seven children — Frederick, born October 26, 1848 ; Jacob, 
September 8, 1850 ; Mary, January 14, 1853 ; Anna, August 10, 1856 ; 
Ellen, June 8, 1860 ; Agnes, September 4, 1861 ; these were all born in Erie 
County, Penn., and George D., the youngest was born in this county October 
19, 1865. Mr. Mooney's parents were born in Lancaster County, Penn., his 
father September 20, 1795, and his mother February 21, 1790 ; they were 


married in the same county in September, 1818, and remained there until they 
moved to Erie County, same State ; in 1864, they emigrated to this county, 
lived in Lima Township one year, then returned to Pennsylvania, making a 
second trip to this county about two years subsequently, when they settled in 
this township, where Mr. Mooney died September 10, 1869 ; she is yet living, 
and resides at the home of the subject. Their family consisted of four chil- 
dren — Henry, James, Martha and Jacob. 

R. L. NEWMAN was born in Philadelphia, Penn., December 12, 1820, 
and is the son of John D. and Ursula Newman. At the age of three years, he 
accompanied his parents to New York City, where he remained until he was 
eleven years old, when his mother died and he went to live with an uncle ; he 
came with the family of the latter, about a year afterward, to this county ; they 
settled in Lima Township on Section 20, and with them the subject remained 
until he was eighteen, when he commenced working out by the month, continued 
about two years, then went to Lima and began serving a three years' appren- 
ticeship at the carpenter's trade, and followed the same for some time ; Febru- 
ary 5, 1843, he married Mary A. Parker, who was born in New York July 
10, 1820; all his earthly possessions — an old horse — he exchanged for its 
value in furniture, and began housekeeping. Through energy and economy he 
has amassed a comfortable fortune, owning now 260 acres of land and good 
buildings. He is a citizen that is well respected; five children have been born 
to himself and wife — Rozane H., February 22, 1844; Frances E., August 2, 
1847, died August 21, 1850 ; Delmar A., March 24, 1851; Orlinda C, Au- 
gust 16, 1854, and Charles R., June 23, 1864. 

WILLIAM S. OLNEY is a native of this county, and was born Sep- 
tember 16, 1834, on the farm where he is residing. His parents, John and 
Esther Olney, were early settlers of this county, locating on Section 19, Van 
Buren Township, in 1830. His father's birth occurred February 24, 1800, 
and his mother's March 13, 1802 ; they were married in Ohio August 14, 
1823. John Olney died in 1841, June 9, and his widow was afterward mar- 
ried to Nathaniel Calahan March 23, 1847, and they died on the farm now 
owned by the subject, the former February 12, 1858, and the latter July 20, 
1855. She had a family of seven children — John D., Truman M., Betsey A., 
Asa J., Henry, William S. and Martin V. After the death of his parents, the 
subject and one brother bought the old homestead. William S. purchased his 
brother's interest in the winter of 1881-82, and now owns 401 acres of excel- 
lent land. His marriage to Miss Delila J. Sidener occurred June 10, 1858 ; 
she was born in this county October 2, 1839, and is the eldest of eight chil- 
dren born to Nicholas and Margaret Sidener. Mr. and Mrs. Olney are mem- 
bers of the M. E. Church, and have had three children — Charles B., born 
June 30, 1859, died May 15, 1873; Eddie A., born September 17, 1862, now 
attending school at Sturgis, Mich., and an infant born October 27, 1873, and 
"died November 28, 1873. 

THOMAS PEATLING is a native of England, where his birth occurred 
September 7, 1828. His parents, William and Ann Peatling, were English 
people ; the former was born February 7, 1798, and the latter June 20, 1802 ; 
their marriage occurred September 12, 1820. Mrs. Ann Peatling died May 
30, 1842, and August 4, 1845, William Peatling was again married. In 1848, 
he emigrated to America, settling in Beaver County, Penn., where he is yet a 
resident ; his second wife died September 1, 1873." Thomas Peatling crossed 
the ocean in 1850, and went to Beaver County, Penn., where he was married 


March 28, 1855, to Elizabeth Calpass, also a native of England, born June 26, 
1826. She is next to the youngest of seven children born to Robert and Ann 
Calpass. In IS'^'l, Mr. Peatling moved to St. Joseph County, Mich., where 
he remained until 1880, when he sold out and bought the farm where he now 
lives, in Section 16, of this township. He owns 240 acres of land that is fur- 
nished with good buildings. Mr. and Mrs. Peatling belong to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and have had six children — Willard C, born September 9, 
1856 ; Ann C. and Edward A., twins, born May 13, 1858, the latter died July 27, 
1858: Thomas E., May 4, 1860; Elizabeth, March 23, 1862-. died February 
6, 1864, and Joseph B.. November 12, 1864. 

P. W. PRESTON is the son of Thomas Preston, one of the oldest 
pioneers of La Grange County. The subject was born in England October 9, 
1820. and came to this country with his parents, who settled on land in Section 
26, of this township. He is one of nine children, and lived at home until 
twenty-six years of age. May 30, 1847, he married Margaret C. Iron, a na- 
tive of Delaware, where her birth occurred June 8, 1828. They did not locate 
permanently until after his father's death, when he removed to and soon after 
purchased the homestead farm, where he has since remained, and has assisted 
in caring for his aged mother. The farm consists of 109 acres and is excel- 
lently improved. Mr. and Mrs. Preston are members of the Baptist Church, 
and have a family of eight children — L. H., Mary C, W. S., E. W., Eliza- 
beth J., R. A., Martha B., and Margaret F. Although Mr. Preston is a 
mechanic, he devotes his attention exclusively to farming. 

JOHN F. ROTE is the third of a family of seven children, and a native 
of Snyder County, Penn, where he was born April 9, 1842. His parents were 
Solomon and Maria Rote ; they were both born in Pennsylvania, the former 
in 1809 and the latter in 1810. In 1849, they removed from their native 
State to St. Joseph County, Mich., where Mrs. Maria Rote died in 1870, her 
husband's death occurring three years later. John F. Rote accompanied his 
parents to Michigan and remained with them until he was twenty-four years 
old. He has been married three times ; his first wife was Harriet Brokaw, to 
whom he was united December 22, 1866 ; his second marriage occurred March 
14, 1872, to Lucy A. Robinson, by whom he had one child — Solomon D. 
Mrs.' Lucy Rote died in 1873, and May 22, 1879, he was married to his present 
wife, Jennie Dean. They have one child — Ira U. Mr. Rote owns a good 
farm of eighty acres, and is a member of the Reformed Church. 

JACOB SCHMIDT, the eldest of a family of nine children, born to 
Jacob and Elizabeth Schmidt, is a native of Germany, his birth transpiring 
October 13, 1831. He is of German parentage, the birth of his father occur- 
ring in 1803, and that of his mother seven years later ; they were married in 
1830, and passed their entire lives in Germany. Mrs. Elizabeth Schmidt died 
in 1865, and five years afterward her husband followed her to the grave. Jacob 
Schmidt came to America in 1854, and located at White Pigeon, Mich., where 
he was married November 15, 1862, and resided until he moved to his present 
home in this township. He is the owner of 186 acres of land that is under 
good cultivation and lies in Section 18. Mrs. Schmidt, formerly Nancy 
Steininger, was born in Pennsylvania September 24, 1839. In the family of 
Mr. Schmidt there are eight children — John W., Ellen A., Ida E., George E., 
Louisa M., Charles C, Edward W. and Lula A. 

JOHN SHERWOOD, son of William H. and Elizabeth Sherwood, was 
born in Ontario County, N. Y., September 26, 1821. His parents were 


natives respectively of Orange and Oswego Counties, N. Y., the former born 
October 18, 1798, and the latter August 26, 1799. They were married May 
4, 1819; in the latter county, and remained in New York until 1853, then 
moved to Elkhart County, Ind., settling near Goshen. About ten years after- 
ward they emigrated to Illinois, and lived with their daughter, until he died, 
March 18, 1873. She afterward went to Marshalltown, Iowa, where she died, 
November 27, 1875, at the home of her son. Dr. A. C. Sherwood. They were 
parents of nine children — Sarah, deceased ; John, Diana, Betsy A., deceased ; 
A. C, M. A., deceased; Isaac N., deceased; Mary L.; and D. B., deceased. 
The subject lived with his parents until seventeen, and received a good educa- 
tion. In 1842, he came to Steuben County, Ind., going from there to Ohio, 
but returned soon to this State, and engaged in school teaching near Goshen. 
He remained about four years, and April 9, 1845, was married to Lucinda M. 
Storn, who was born in New York, June 21, 1828. She died eighteen days 
after her union with Mr. Sherwood, and he then returned to his home in New 
York. December 24, 1846, he was married to Elizabeth Savage, also a native 
of New York, born March 29, 1824. He left New York in 1854, and went to 
Michigan, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, continuing the same until 
April, 1857, when he sold out and began farming in Cass County, Mich. Two 
years afterward he located in this county, and has since remained. He is one 
of the prominent citizens, owns a farm of 220 acres in this township, is a mem- 
ber of the I. 0. 0. F., and has a family of nine children — Almond E., Nelson 
A., Ida L., Amy H., John B., Editha J., Ella A., Guisippi G. and Sarah E. 

H. M. SIDENER, a prosperous and enterprising farmer, is a native of 
this county, where he was born October 3, 1841, and has ever since made it 
his home. His marriage to Miss Mary C. Hinkle was consummated June 22, 
1869, She was born in Pennsylvania May 13, 1849, and is the daughter of 
William and Matilda Hinkle. In 1867, Mr. Sidener bought property located 
in Section 28 of this township, where he resided until 1880, when he sold it and 
purchased a farm in Section 29, where he took up his abode, and has remained 
since. He has always been engaged in the pursuit of agriculture, and at present 
owns 111 acres of fine land. Mr. and Mrs. Sidener have an only son — Roy 
G., who was born in this county., March 11,. 1881. Mr. Sidener is the son of 
Nicholas and Margaret Sidener. 

NICHOLAS SIDENER owns 300 acres of land in this township, which 
is well improved. He came to La Grange County, in 1835, and bought his 
present farm. Returning to Ohio, he was married April 6, 1837, to Margaret 
Bussard, and soon after settled in this township, on Section 30, where his farm 
was located, and where he had entered 160 acres. Mr. and Mrs. Sidener are 
both natives of Fairfield County, Ohio. He was born December 3, 1811, and 
she June 27, 1817. They have had nine children — Dellia J., Henry M., 
Samuel L., Willard, John, Mary, James E., Martha E. and Margaret E. They 
are among the oldest resident pioneers, and belong to the M. E. Church, of 
which Mr. Sidener has been a member since 1839. He is the son of Nicholas 
and Nancy Sidener. His father was born in Virginia September 1, 1773, and 
was twice married; first, in Kentucky, to the subject's mother, who was born 
in Pennsylvania in 1782, and died in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1821 ; they had 
eleven children. His second wife was Mrs. Sarah Prough, by whom he had 
five children. He died in 1851. Mr. Sidener has accumulated all his present 
wealth (except $1,000) by his own exertions, and has sold 113 acres of fine 
land. He has assisted in laying out the roads, and in building the bridges in 


the township, and is a respected and valued citizen. Both his grandfathers 
came from Pennsylvania, and resided at one time in Kentucky ; his grand- 
father Kline subsequently locating in Ohio at an early day. 

SAMUEL L. SIDENER, the son of Nicholas and Margaret Sidener, 
was born in this county July 23, 1843. He remained at home and assisted 
his parents, until he was twenty-two years old. April 18, 1865, he was united 
in marriage to Miss Ettie E. Parker, who was born in this county in 1848. 
Soon after, they located on one of his father's farms on Section 20, this town- 
ship, where they resided until her death July 24, 1875, after which Mr. Side- 
ner returned to the home of his parents. January 18, 1878, he was married 
to his second and present wife, Annie E. Wolf, a native of Erie County, Penn., 
where she was born June 25, 1852. They moved into a house built by his 
father, where they have since lived, and he has been engaged in farming the 
old homestead. Mr. Sidener has a family of two children — Ralph, born Jan- 
uary 20, 1868, and Alta M., September 23, 1870. 

E. SIXBEY is the son of John and Elizabeth Sixbey, natives of New 
York ; the birth of the former occurring September 9, 1781, and that of the 
latter August 28, 1782. They were married in their native State in 1805, and 
in 1835 went to White Pigeon, Mich., remained until they came to Indiana, 
where she died in La Grange County, in May, 1852, and Mr. Sixbey subse- 
quently married, and died in 1855. The subject, one of thirteen children, was 
born in New York January 5, 1819 ; came here with his parents, and remained 
with them until the age of twenty-six. February 15, 1843, he was married to 
Orpha L. Barnes, a native of New York, born October 17, 1820. After 
farming two years on his father's place, Mr. Sixbey moved to his land in Sec- 
tion 14, this township, where he is now living. In 1850, he went to Califor- 
nia, where he was engaged in mining five years. He owns 150 acres of land 
and has a family of five children — Frank E.. born February 24, 1844, now a 
stock-dealer of New Mexico; John, April 11, 1846, railroading; Catherine 
S., August 20,1848, school-teacher; Charles, March 6, 1858, railroading; 
and Orpha M., April 6, 1862, a music-teacher. Mr. Sixbey is a member of 
the Masonic Order, and has served his township two years as Trustee. 

N. N. SIXBEY was born in New York, Janu^iry 31, 1833 ; two years 
later his parents, Nicholas and Christiana Sixbey, natives of New York, came 
west to White Pigeon, Mich., thence to this county, where they bought 640 
acres of land, subsequently moving to St. Joseph County, Mich., where they 
lived on a 240-acre farm until 1865, and then removed to near Sturgis, where 
they lived five years, finally locating in Vistula, Elkhart Co., Ind., where 
Nicholas Sixbey died November 26, 1875, and his wife December 20, of the 
same year. The former was born February 13, 1806, and the latter Decem- 
ber 20, 1804. They were married in Kentucky in 1824, were members of the 
Reformed Church and had thirteen children. November 17, 1857, N. N. Sixbey 
and Louisiana Olney were married. She was born in this county November 
30, 1837, and is the youngest of two ohildren in the family of Asa and Thank- 
ful Olney, natives of Ohio. Her father was born in 1805 and her mother in 
1811 ; they were married in 1829. They came to this county about one year 
afterward, and are now living in Section 18, this township. Mr. and Mrs. 
Sixbey first located on Section 14, this township, afterward removing to Sec- 
tion 13, where they are living, and he owns 214 acres of land that is well 
improved. They are of the Methodist denomination and have a family of two 
children— Cora E., born March 6, 1870, and Lora E., November 27, 1874. 


EDWARD SNYDER was born in Union County, Penn., September 17, 
1812, where he passed the earlier part of his life and was married in 1832, on 
the 22d of September, to Mary A. Stallnecker. She was born in the same 
county August 11, 1813 : they moved on a farm, previously purchased by the 
subject, and lived there until 1866, when they sold out and removed to Noble 
County, Ind. Near Avilla they settled on a farm, making their home there 
eight years, at the end of which period Mr. Snyder bought his farm in this 
township. It comprises 120 acres of good land, and is located in Section 15. 
Mrs. Edward Snyder died at her home August 13, 1873, leaving a husband 
and six children to mourn her loss. The children are Charles, Mary E., 
Sarah, Add M.. Anna E. and Edward S. Mr. Snyder's parents — George and 
Peggy Snyder — were natives of Pennsylvania. Subject and family are mem- 
bers of the Lutheran Church. 

SAMUEL H. STEININGER is a native of Snyder County, Penn., and 
the son of Simon and Catharine Steininger. They came to this county about 
1854 and are now living in White Pigeon, Mich., and are parents of three 
children. Simon Steininger was born April 27, 1818, and Catharine, his wife, 
September 18, 1825. Samuel H. was their second child. He was born May 
14, 1844, and came here with his parents, remaining with them until twenty- 
three years old. After he was married, December 24, 1867, to Miss Amanda 
Sterner, he worked the home farm until he moved to his present location, that 
was purchased by his father in 1876. The latter owns considerable real estate 
and has retired from active labor. Mr. and Mrs. Steininger are among the 
estimable families of this township and are members of the Lutheran Church. 
Mrs. Steininger is a native of the Buckeye State, where her birth occurred 
September 26, 1844, and has borne her husband two children. Willard S. was 
born January 27, 1869, and Franklin I. December 23, 1871. 

ROBERT T. THORN was born in England July 23, 1809; married 
there in 1832, July 2, to Miss Maria Dunn, and remained there until about 
forty years of age. He worked at a mechanic's trade in England until 
1850, when he emigrated to America and located at Bellville, Ohio. Eight 
years subsequently he removed to Indiana; resided in Elkhart one year, then 
settled on his farm in this township, where he owns eighty acres of good farm- 
ing land. Mr. Thorn has retired from active work. His parents, John and 
Elizabeth Thorn, were English people. His wife also was born in England, in 
1811, on the 25th of March. Mr, and Mrs. Thorn have had born to them 
twelve children, six of whom have died. Those living are Elizabeth M., Maria, 
Robert, Seella, Emma and William H., and those deceased, John, Theresa, 
Richard. William, Theresa and John. 

CASPER WEISS is a native of Germany, born November 25, 1840, the 
next to the youngest of eight children born to Emanuel and Elizabeth Weiss, 
who were natives of Germany. The subject, at the age of seventeen, emi- 
grated to America, going first to Erie County, Penn., where he lived four years 
and during that time learned blacksmithing. He next removed to Grant 
County, Wis., and there resumed his trade. After a lapse of two years he 
returned to Erie County, Penn., and September 3, 1864, enlisted in the army, 
serving until its close. Returning to Pennsylvania, after a brief period he 
came to this county, selecting, as a desirable location. Van Buren, where he 
established a shop and resumed his trade, and is doing a good business. Octo- 
ber 26, 1865, Mr. Weiss was married to Mary Schwitzer, and they have one 
child, a daughter, Rosie A., who was born July 13, 1872. They are members 


of the Evangelical Church. Mrs. Weiss was born in Germany September 14, 
1845, and he owns property in this town. 

HENRY WEISS is a native of Germany, where he was born August 19, 
1834. He started for America the 13th of April, 1856, and landed in New 
York City June 7 of the same year. Starting the next day, he went direct to 
Erie County, Penn., where he remained some time, and was married March 
27, 1861, to Anna Schweitzer, who was born in Germany November 14, 1843. 
In 1865, they came to Indiana, settling in Van Buren Township, this county, 
and in 1874 purchased his present farm of eighty acres in Section 23. Mr. 
Weiss belongs to the Evangelical Church, and is the son of Emanuel and 
Elizabeth Weiss, who were Germans and parents of eight children, viz. : John, 
Justus, Elizabeth, Peter, Henry, Jacob, Casper and Catherine. Emanuel 
Weiss was born in 1800 and his wife in 1796. They were married in 1826, 
and she died in Germany July 22, 1855. He came to America in 1868, and 
spent the remainder of his days with his son Henry. He died June 20, 1871. 
Mr. and Mrs. Weiss have three children — Charles E., born April 29, 1862; 
J. Casper, January 17, 1865; and Clara, April 4, 1870. 

JONAS WENGER, son of John and Mary Wenger, natives of Canada ; 
Jonas was born in Canada December 16, 1828, and was next to the oldest in a 
family of seven children. He came to the United States with his parents in 
1847, and remained with them until he was twenty years old. He was mar- 
ried, August 30, 1848, to Miss Elizabeth Black, who was born in Ohio October 
19, 1824. After their marriage he purchased a farm in Elkhart County, Ind.; 
here they moved and lived until 1863, when he sold out and came to La Grange 
County, purchasing and settling on a farm in this township, in Section 16 ; in 
1872, he removed to Section 21, where, at present, he is located, and owns 340 
acres of excellent land. Mr. Wenger is one of the enterprising farmers of his 
township. He and wife belong to the Evangelical Church, and have a family 
of four boys and two girls — John F., Samuel, Henry, Mary A., Jacob and 
Katie L. 


J. K. BYLER, the proprietor of a hardware and agricultural implement 
store in Haw Patch Center, is a son of Jonathan and Catherine C. Byler, 
natives of Pennsylvania. He was the third in a family of eight children, and 
was born in Union County, Penn., July 26, 1847, and came to Noble County 
with his parents in 1855. Beginning in 1871, he served an apprenticeship at 
the carpenter's trade and worked at carpentering about two years, after which 
he was engaged, by J. W. Hall, in the sale and erection of the Hall Wind-mill. 
He continued in this employment after the firm changed to Flint, Wallen & 
Co. He subsequently engaged in farming, continuing until October 25, 1881, 
when he started his present line of business. He «arries a complete stock of 
goods, and is receiving the assistance his enterprise merits. Mr. Byler was 
married to Hannah M. Miller December 28, 1875, in Noble County ; she was 
a native of Pennsylvania ; they have two children — Ida, born June 3, 1878, 
and Ora, born August 22, 1880. Mr. Byler owns some property in this 
vicinity, and his family follow the teachings of the Omish Mennonite Church. 

PATRICK CARR, son of Franklin and Mary Carr, was born in Ire- 
land March 17, 1829 ; his parents were married about the year 1811, and 
died in Ireland, his father's death occurring about 1841, and his mother's 


in 1,833 ; Patrick Garr was the third of eight children, and remained in 
Ireland until 1850, when he came to the United States, landing in New 
York. He remained there and in vicinity five years, then came to this 
county, and, in 1861, December 25, enlisted in Company I, Forty-eighth 
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and remained in the war until its close. 
After his return he purchased his farm in this township. Mr. Carr is 
a systematic and thrifty farmer. November 22, 1865, he was married to 
Miss Hannah Carey, who was born in Boston, Mass., December 20, 1848. 
Her parents were Michael and Catherine Carey, natives of Ireland ; they have 
seven children — Lilly C, born November 21, 1866 ; Mary B., October 8, 
1868 ; Frank J., January 3, 1870 ; Michael C, October 23, 1875 ; Thomas 
L., March 10, 1877; and twins, William P. and John W., born October 20, 
1881. Mr. Carr and family are all members of the Catholic Church. 

DR. J. N. DENNY, son of John and Mary Denny, is a native of Elkhart 
County, Ind. His father was born in Wheeling, W.Va., March 8, 1790, and 
his mother in Franklin County, Penn., April 23, 1797. Their marriage was 
celebrated at Steubenville, Ohio, March 2, 1822 ; they remained at the latter 
place until 1834, at which time they came to Elkhart County, then a wilder- 
ness filled with wild animals, but three years later took up their residence in 
La Grange County. The father died at his residence on Section 35, in April, 
1867, but the mother yet survives. This worthy man and wife experienced 
through the long years all the trials incident to the settlement of a new coun- 
try. The father was a man of more than ordinary intelligence. At last, full 
of years, like the patriarchs of old, he was gathered to his fathers — his life 
work was done. To these parents four children were born — W. J., in Ohio, 
March, 1825 ; J. M., in Ohio, October, 1827 ; F. M., in Ohio, April, 1832, 
and J. N., the subject of this sketch, in September, 1834 ; the latter has al- 
ways been the " home boy." His early education was received from difi"erent 
sources, but in 1856 he began the study of medicine at Goshen, continuing 
hard at work for three years, at the end of which time he took a course of 
lectures at the famous Rush Medical College, Chicago. He then returned to 
his father's farm on Section 35, " hung out his shingle," where he has remained 
in successful practice since. He is yet unmarried. The four children of this 
family are, intellectually, much above the average. W. J., the eldest, lives at 
the old home, himself and Dr. Denny owning 300 acres of fine land. J. M. 
is an eminent attorney at Albion, and is the author of an excellent chapter in 
this volume. F. M. is a practicing physician in California. The father was 
for some time an Associate Judge of the county, and his memory is treasured 
by a large circle of friends and relatives. 

W. H. FRANKS, M. D., is the only son of Samuel and Susan Franks, 
and was born in Fayette County, Penn., April 26, 1841. Though his educa- 
tion was obtained under difficulties — by reason of limited means — yet, with that 
determination and perseverance characteristic of the man, he succeeded in fit- 
ting himself for almost any position in life. At the age of sixteen, he attended 
the George's Creek Academy, near his home. For two years, while at his 
father's, he studied medicine, then placed himself under the tuition of Dr. F. 
C. Robinson, subsequently attending lectures at the Jeff^erson Medical College 
in Philadelphia. He then commenced the practice in partnership with his 
preceptor, in his native county. A few months later he came to Noble County 
and commenced practice in Brimfield. In the winter of 1873, the Doctor, after 
attending lectures at the Rush Medical College, in Chicago, graduated. After 


this his practice so increased that he injured his health ; and with the intention 
of giving up his profession, he sold his property in Brimfield, and after a resi- 
dence of about one year in Noble County, purchased the farm where he now 
lives, on the Haw Patch, Here the call for his professional services necessitated 
resuming practice, and he now devotes all his time to this calling. Dr. Franks 
was married, September 24, 1866, to Mary ^. Gibson, who was born in Noble 
Oounty, May 26, 1848, a daughter of A. G. and Eliza Gibson, now living in 
Noble County. A family of four children has been born to them — Walter E., 
September 15, 1867 ; Ernest G., September 25, 1873 ; William A., Decem- 
ber 7, 1878, and Ada M., May 31, 1880. The Doctor owns eighty acres of 
finely improved, and eighty acres of timbered land, also an eighty in Kansas. 
He is a member of the Northeastern Indiana and the Noble County Medical 
Societies, of which he has served as President. Himself and wife belong to the 
Baptist Church. The Doctor's parents were natives of Pennsylvania ; the 
father born about 1805 and the mother about 1809. They were married about 
1830 ; their children were Sarah A., Anna, Elizabeth H., William H., Eliza 
J., Mary C, Amanda and Susan. The mother died August 15, 1864 ; the 
father still lives in the old place in Pennsylvania, where he has filled many 
positions by the sufi'rage of the citizens of his county. 

MILTON HERALD was twenty-nine years old on the 22d of September, 
1881. His father, William, and mother, Sarah Herald, the former a native 
of Holmes County, Ohio, and the latter of Armstrong County, Penn., were 
united in marriage in the last-named county in 1849. After a short time, 
they moved to Wayne County, Ohio, where they still reside. They own 313 
acres of land there, besides 110 in La Grange County, Ind. Milton, the sec- 
ond of a family of five, remained in Wayne, his native county, until 1876, 
when he came to La Grange County, and began working the farm his father 
had previously bought. He married Miss Mary M. Denny January 9, 1878. 
This lady's parents are J. and Sarah Denny. Mr. Herald moved on his 
father's farm, buying the same and increasing it until he now owns 134 acres, 
one of the finest farms in the township. He owns a fine brick residence and 
one of the largest and most convenient barns in the county. Mr. and Mrs. 
Herald are industrious and bright, and may be numbered among the best resi- 
dents of the township. They have no family. Mr. Herald's father was born 
in 1824, his mother in 1823 and his wife in 1854. The elder Herald's occu- 
pation was farming and stock-raising. 

M. J. HOCHSTETLER, farmer, is a son of John and Magdalena Hoch- 
stetler, natives of Pennsylvania. She died in Pennsylvania, and her husband, 
John Hochstetler, was married again and moved to Ohio, where his last days 
were passed. Among eleven children was the subject, born in Somerset County, 
Penn., June 9, 1812, and with his parents came to Ohio. After a lapse of 
two years, he returned to Pennsylvania, and was married, January 17, 1838, 
to Elizabeth Mast. After living three years in that State, he bought a farm 
in Holmes County, Ohio, where they farmed eight years; then disposed of it, 
and in turn purchased a farm and grist-mill. After operating the mill eight 
years, he bought the land in this township, where he is yet continuing his ex- 
tensive farm practice. Mr. Hochstetler is the owner of 240 acres of land, and 
himself and wife are believers in the Ornish Mennonite religion. Of thirteen 
children born to them twelve are living, viz.: John M., Samuel J., Eli M., 
Moses M., Eve, Paul J., Elizabeth, Polly, Jacob J., David J. (deceased), An- 
<irew J., Uriah J. and Henry J. 


CHRISTIAN KAUFFMAN, farmer, came to this county in 1854 with 
his parents, Joseph and Nancy Kauffman. His father and mother were both 
natives of Mifflin County, Penn. The dates of their respective births are 
August 27, 1807, and January 7, 1807. Their marriage was celebrated in 
Wayne County, Ohio, about the year 1829, and there they remained until 
they came West and settled on the farm now owned by the subject, subse- 
quently, in 1867, moving to Elkhart County, Ind., where Joseph Kauffman 
died in March of the same year. Mrs. Kauffman still survives and is with a 
son in Haw Patch Center. Christian Kauffman purchased the homestead farm 
in 1860. He was one of seven children and was born in Wayne County, 
Ohio, in 1831, August 8. November 8, 1833, Elizabeth Myers was born in 
the State of Pennsylvania. December 28, 1856, she was united in marriage 
with Mr. Kauffman and has borne him five children — Rufus A., born Decem- 
ber 6, 1857; Joseph I., September 2, 1859; John M., September 5, 1861; 
Ninette C, September 13, 1865. and Mary E., May 8, 1869. Mr. Kauffman 
owns 120 acres of land, good buildings and is a deservedly popular citizen. 

ROBERT LEPIRD, farmer, is the eldest of seven children, and came to 
Indiana at a very early day with his parents. His father, Samuel Lepird, was 
born May 13, 1815. His mother, Harriet Lepird, was born April 24, 1816. 
They were early settlers of this county, where they died. Robert Lepird was 
born in Fairfield County, Ohio, September 10, 1840, and when of age assumed 
the management of the homestead farm for his mother, his father having died 
previously. In 1867, he went to Eaton County, Mich., where he bought and 
sold three different farms, and then returned to this county. He farmed on 
shares about one and a half years, then went to Noble County, lived two years, 
sold his farm to his brother and bought the old homestead on the Haw Patch, 
where he is permanently situated, having 120 acres of land and good buildings. 
January 5, 1862, Mr. Lepird and Miss Sarah A. Waddell were united in mar- 
riage. The following is a record of their children's births: Fayette R., Jan- 
uary 11, 1863; Ada M., March 25, 1864; Mary B., July 5, 1865; Elvev, 
March 22, 1870; Elton G. and Alton J. (twins), June 5, 1878. Mary B. 
died March 9, 1868. 

JOHN W. LOW, farmer, is the son of Nicholas and Elizabeth A. Low, 
the former born in Pennsylvania, the latter in Maryland, and were pioneers of 
this county, where they located about 1836, and are residents of Clear Spring 
Township. Four of their children are living — Mary J., Thomas H., John 
W, and Martha E. February 9, 1845, John W. Low was born in this county, 
and November 15, 1868, was married to Elizabeth H. Coppes. Her parents, 
Richard and Hannah Coppes, natives of the State of Pennsylvania, lived some 
time in Wayne County, Ohio, where Elizabeth was born September 9, 1846 ; 
they are now residing in this county. After the event of his marriage, Mr. 
Low worked his father-in-law's farm about three years, when he bought his 
land in this township. He owns 200 acres of land, well cultivated, and is 
classed with the first citizens and farmers of the township. They have a fam- 
ily of three children — Hannah E., born January 12, 1872; Martha J., Febru- 
ary 18, 1874, and Mary E., May 14, 1878. 

M. J. NELSON, farmer, a native of Elkhart County, Ind., is the son of 
Anthony and Sophia Nelson. Anthony Nelson was probably born in the year 
1796, in Ohio, and Sophia Nelson in North Carolina, about 1802. They came 
West in their youth, and were married in Union County, Ind. Eight children 
constituted their family. M. J., the subject, was born December 13, 1832. He lived 


until about thirty-seven years of age at the home of his parents. December 
3, 1867, he married Eliza S. Anderson, who was born May 9, 1845, in this 
county. They are living on 180 acres of the old homestead farm, in this town- 
ship, and are well respected by the community in which they reside. Mr. and 
Mrs. Nelson have been blessed with three children, viz. : Elva J., born October 
3, 1868 ; Gusta A., born January 25, 1872, and Cecil E., born November 19, 
1878 ; the latter died May 24, 1880. 

JOHN PECK, blacksmith, proprietor of pump-factory and corn-mill, is 
one of a family of six children born to Burton and Sarah G. Peck. He was 
born in La Grange County April 29, 1855